Money

The unexpected ways 3 athletes celebrated their first multimillion-dollar paychecks

A professional sports career can be lucrative. According to Forbes, the average MLB salary is $4.4 million. NFL players earn an average of $2.1 million a year.

However, as a handful of pros have shown us, just because you earn a lot, doesn't mean you have to spend a lot. Here are three millionaire athletes who celebrated their good fortune in a sensible way.

Ryan Broyles paid off credit card debt

Wide receiver Ryan Broyles speaks during an event to educate teens about financial responsibility
Tom Williams | Getty Images
Wide receiver Ryan Broyles speaks during an event to educate teens about financial responsibility

When Ryan Broyles entered the NFL draft five years ago, his credit report "was terrible," he writes on The Players' Tribune. "I had late payments. Delinquent bills. Accounts in collections. It was bad."

After reading Robert Kiyosaki's personal finance classic, "Rich Dad Poor Dad," the wide receiver realized he needed to make some changes in his financial life. So after signing a $3.6 million rookie contract with the Lions — $1.1 million of which was guaranteed — the first thing Broyles did was pay off all of his debt and set up automatic payments for all of his bills.

Since then, he has chosen to live on a modest $60,000 a year and stash the rest of his NFL salary in investments and retirement savings accounts.

Daniel Norris bought a $14 T-shirt

MLB pitcher Daniel Norris signed with the Toronto Blue Jays when he was just 18 years old. His contract came with a sizable $2 million signing bonus.

The teen went shopping, but not in the way you'd expect. He bought a $14 Henley T-shirt at the Converse store, ESPN's Eli Saslow reports. Shortly after, Norris did buy his dream ride: a $10,000 Volkswagen van, which he lives in during the off-season.

Joe Flacco ordered nuggets at McDonald's

Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with the Vince Lombardi trophy after the Ravens won 34-31 against the San Francisco 49ers during Super Bowl XLVII.
Getty Images
Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with the Vince Lombardi trophy after the Ravens won 34-31 against the San Francisco 49ers during Super Bowl XLVII.

Quarterback Joe Flacco's six-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens, which he signed in 2013, made him the highest paid player in the NFL at the time.

He celebrated at the Golden Arches, ESPN reported in 2013: "Armed with a $29 million signing bonus and the promise of a total of $52 million guaranteed over the life of the contract, Flacco rolled down his window at the McDonald's drive-thru in Aberdeen, Md., after ordering a 10-piece McNugget meal, with fries and an unsweetened iced tea for $6.99."

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