Of all the legendary players who have come and gone in the NFL and are still living, you might be surprised to hear who the highest paid retired NFL player currently is. The man who makes the most coin in retirement, at least according to Forbes’ list of highest paid retired athletes, is former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach.
Staubach, who retired in 1979, reportedly earns $13 million a year. Most people would be inclined to think that the faces we see most often — like that of Steve Young, Troy Aikman and Michael Strahan — are the top earners, but Staubach is apparently a savvy businessman.
The two-time Super Bowl champion started a real estate company in 1977 while he was nearing the end of his career with the Cowboys. He sold the business to Jones Lang Lasalle in 2008 for $648 million. He owned 12% of the company at the time and put half of his share in a trust for his children. The last payout from the sale of the company was last year. The figure includes the $4 million annually that is directed toward Staubach’s kids.
The rest of the list is hardly as surprising, with Michael Jordan on top and still earning around $90 million a year. The majority of the list is made up of retired golfers (Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Gary Player). David Beckham and Shaquille O’Neal also made the cut, as they earn $37 million and $20 million per year respectively.
Moral of the story? Remaining successful in retirement after a pro sports career is not always about plastering your pretty face on major TV networks and billboards. A smart business venture can go a long way.
H/T Shutdown Corner