Playing professional football isn’t exactly a cushy job—what, with all of the tackling and constant injuries—but it is a lucrative one. According to Fox Business, the minimum salary for NFL players during the 2016-2017 season was $450,000. But, even with that kind of pay, many NFL players still have side jobs.
Take New England Patriots wide receiver Bernard Reedy, for example, who earned a $465,000 base salary at the start of this season, plus a $135,000 playoff bonus. He may have just made an appearance in the Super Bowl, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to take some tropical vacation now that the season’s over. Instead, he told ESPN he’s returning to his hometown job that pays $11 an hour.
During every offseason, Reedy, 26, works for a Florida company called Care Ride, which is a transportation service for people in wheelchairs. He’s been working for the company since 2015, and he told ESPN that the job keeps him grounded in reality despite his professional football player status.
Let's be that helping hand 👋🏾 pic.twitter.com/UyKsdu9gK8
— Bernard Reedy Jr (@Oneway_Reedy) March 16, 2017
Through this side gig, he’s constantly reminded, “What about the people on life support? What about the people who can’t walk that want to walk again? That stuff’s way more serious than running around and playing football,” Reedy told ESPN.
In many ways, Reedy is living out his dreams. “For the most part, my dream is coming true. I’m in a place that I always thought about being when I was younger as a kid,” he said. But, should something not go as planned for his athletic career, he’s always got a side job that brings an important perspective to his life to fall back on.
Other NFL Players With Side Gigs
Reedy isn’t the only NFL player who’s looking outside of football to earn extra money, either.
Brandon Copeland, a defensive end for the Detroit Lions, works as an analyst for an asset management firm when he’s not on the field. For Copeland, it’s all about smart planning, because a football career can only last so long. “It’s guaranteed football is going to be over one day,” he told ESPN. That’s why he’s working hard and saving money. “I’ve literally hoarded money. I’m literally stacking, stacking, stacking.”
Star linebacker Von Miller owns a chicken farm and tends to the birds when he’s not playing for the Denver Broncos.
Why Side Jobs Are Important
Clearly, these athletes get it. Having a side job can be very important to your lifestyle in more ways than one. Sure, they’re a great way to generate more income so that you’re able to create a savings for your future, but they can also be great for your overall mental health and stress levels.
Greg Wacks, head of creative strategy at Snapchat told Forbes, “A side hustle gives you perspective on your day job. If you don’t have it, you get so immersed in what you are doing as your primary job that a piece of you inside deteriorates.”
So, using a side job as a creative outlet (that also happens to make you some extra money) can be a very healthy thing. Having multiple jobs used to seem like a faux pas, but that’s completely started to shift.
According to a study conducted by Upwork and the Freelancers Union, nearly 50 percent of millennial workers are already freelancing and 63 percent of the overall freelance workforce said they’re freelancing by choice.
Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork, said in a press release, “Professionals who choose to freelance make this choice knowing that, as their own boss, they are in control of their destiny. Freelancers therefore think more proactively about market trends and refresh their skills more often than traditional employees, helping advance our economy.”
The job landscape certainly isn’t what it used to be, and side jobs really seem to be giving people more power than ever before. Feeling inspired to start a meaningful side gig right about now? Even highly paid NFL players wouldn’t blame you!