Richard Roth, a New York City attorney who specializes in representing athletes, disagreed with the idea that Lochte's future earnings potential from endorsements are destroyed.
"We don't know down the road how much it will effect him," Roth said. "I don't believe this will seriously hurt him. ... If he plays it right, he may not lose anything from it."
"The big question is, how long will this continue?" said Roth, referring to the negative media attention.
Roth said Lochte could do himself, and his wallet, a big favor by quickly doing a media tour to apologize while highlighting his swimming accomplishments.
"If he comes out and 'fesses up, it will greatly help his image," the lawyer said.
"I can give you case after case with athletes" becoming involved in large scandals "and it just goes away," Roth said. "They did stupid things, and this too shall pass. ... We happen to have very short memories when these things happen."
Despite that, Roth said, "does this mean that Nike is going to touch him, Disney is going to touch him? Absolutely not."
But Roth said he could see a young company that has an edgy public image partnering with Lochte to "leverage" the media attention paid from the scandal.
Burton said his research "on anti-hero endorsements" has found that "American advertisers on occasion break through the culture of everybody using a good guy."
"They use a guy whose reputation has been sullied," said Burton, noting ex-basketball players Dennis Rodman, who appeared on "Celebrity Rehab," Latrell Sprewell, who choked his own coach once, had all their bad-boy images exploited by ads.
"It's possible" for Lochte, Burton said.
"But," he added, "it doesn't happen a lot."
Carter acknowledged that Lochte is "going to find niche opportunities" for endorsement deals, such as for brands that are "interested in athletic performance."
But he scoffed at the idea that Lochte would be able to replace the earnings he could lose as a result of the scandal with money that he would earn because of the scandal.
"He might have the ability to endorse certain companies, but the financial upside relative to that is much less than if he had the opportunity to be on the front of a Wheaties box," Carter said.
— Additional reporting by CNBC's Berkeley Lovelace.