Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

15 Aug 2005

Ricky Williams' Net Worth: $230,000

I'm always amazed at how quickly pro athletes can blow through the millions of dollars they earn. Ricky Williams has made $16 million in his pro football career, and his current net worth is $230,000. Even if he's spent $8 million on taxes, agents, and other such fees, how the hell does a guy blow through another $8 million like that?

He spends $100,000 a year on child support for two of his children (the third lives with him) so if he hadn't started playing again he would have been bankrupt very soon even if he hadn't been required to re-pay the Dolphins his signing bonus.

It's always fun to read an article that can include the sentence, "Williams has often said he doesn't value material things," and then continue to read about his $140,000 1999 Ferrari Modena and the night he blew $20,000 at a casino.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 15 Aug 2005

23 comments, Last at 18 Aug 2005, 9:58am by apocalipstick


by R (not verified) :: Mon, 08/15/2005 - 4:28pm

Well, blowing 20 grand at a casino really isn't proof that he does value material things. The car on the other hand...

by Goldbach (not verified) :: Mon, 08/15/2005 - 4:49pm

Insert joke here about how much marijuana $8 million could buy

by elhondo (not verified) :: Mon, 08/15/2005 - 5:20pm


All I know is that it would take Nate Newton to deliver it.

by RowdyRoddyPiper (not verified) :: Mon, 08/15/2005 - 5:25pm

re #1:

or how much massage oil.

by Beavis (not verified) :: Mon, 08/15/2005 - 5:27pm

HuuHuu...HuuHuu...You wrote 'insert'...HuuHuu

by Vlad (not verified) :: Mon, 08/15/2005 - 6:05pm

He's still ahead of me.

by bravehoptoad (not verified) :: Mon, 08/15/2005 - 6:13pm

I came out of this story thinking better of him. The $1 million he gave to his old highschool would count right there for 12.5% of the money he's gotten out of football, and that doesn't count his other charities.

Maybe it is stupid to give away that much, but it's also sweet.

By the way, gambling isn't a "material thing". The car was given as the only prominent example of profligate spending on something material.

by Adam H (not verified) :: Mon, 08/15/2005 - 6:19pm

If I still indulged in certain activities at this point in my life, reading this would put an end to it.

by Sid (not verified) :: Mon, 08/15/2005 - 7:14pm

One of his children lives with him? Did he take the child around the world to smoke pot with him, too?

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Mon, 08/15/2005 - 10:11pm

Now that vasectomies are reversible, if I were an agent, I'd advise all of my clients to get one before they ended up paying over a million a year in child support. I'd further advise them to not get the reversal procedure done until they had been married for at least five years.

by Alan (not verified) :: Mon, 08/15/2005 - 10:55pm

Now who wants to blame Mackovic for starting Priest Holmes at halfback instead of Ricky?

by Andrew (not verified) :: Tue, 08/16/2005 - 3:58pm

You cannot blame indulging in marijuana on Williams' trouble. I think it is clear Wiliams has far greater issues than marijuana usage. I know plenty of responsible adults who use marijuana regularly, including one of my geology professors. Marijuana usage is on par with drinking, it's not a fundamentally damaging drug if use responsibly.

by Basilicus (not verified) :: Tue, 08/16/2005 - 4:35pm

$230,000 is still more than I'm worth....

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 08/16/2005 - 9:35pm

Using marajuana is not indicative of a problem. using marajuana when one knows one is subject to testing, and testing positive will have a very negative impact on one's career and finances, is indicative of a problem.

by apocalipstick (not verified) :: Tue, 08/16/2005 - 11:02pm

Does anyone else remember the death of Derrick Thomas? They had to hold a yard sale to raise enough money to bury him. Guy burned through money like a granola bar through your large intestine.

It's really not surprising. Elite athletes possess uncommon confidence in addition to outstanding physical attributes. Combine this with our modern approach of identifying many of these guys/gals when they're in middle school and it's no wonder they never develop any sense of financial responsibility.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2005 - 1:54am

I agree with #7. I think he really did try and spend his money on worthwhile things, if unwisely. We're not talking about Mike Tyson here.

by KnickerBlogger (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2005 - 10:54am

#12 Marijuanna is not on par with drinking. Alchohol kills far more people per year.

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2005 - 10:59am

That's only cause more people drink than smoke pot.

by MDS (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2005 - 11:45am

The saddest thing about Derrick Thomas's death was that he had several children with several women, and none of them were taken care of at all. At least Ricky is taking care of his kids, although it sounds like that's at least partially because the courts ordered him to.

by KnickerBlogger (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2005 - 11:50am

#18 - not true. You can't overdose on marijuana, but you can on booze.

by X (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2005 - 12:32pm

"#12 Marijuanna is not on par with drinking. Alchohol kills far more people per year."

Word. Alcohol is a poison. Marijuana, not a poison.

by Brian from Halfbaked (not verified) :: Wed, 08/17/2005 - 4:10pm

The emperor wears no clothes man! Fully!

by apocalipstick (not verified) :: Thu, 08/18/2005 - 9:58am

Re #19
Total agreement. I just wanted to point out that it's not uncommon for elite athletes to burn through millions and have nothing left, for a variety of reasons. Thomas was an extreme case, which is why I used him. That, and I've been a Chiefs fan for 35 years.