5 NFL players with surprising off-season jobs

Brandon Copeland lives on 10 to 15 percent of his NFL salary
Robin Marchant | Getty Images

Football season may be over, but not all NFL players are rushing to put their feet up and relax at home. To earn some of extra cash — as well as off the field experience — several players have taken up a side gig in the off-season.

The average NFL career lasts just three years, and for many of these athletes, off-season job helps set them up for professional success after they leave the field.

Below are five NFL players with surprising off-season gigs:

1. Brandon Copeland

Brandon Copeland, defensive end for the Detroit Lions
Justin K. Aller | Getty Images

Detroit Lions defensive end Brandon Copeland knows that professional sports are unpredictable. That's why, during the off-season, he works remotely as an analyst for Weiss Multi Strategy Advisers.

"It's guaranteed football is going to be over one day," the Wharton School grad told ESPN.

Luckily, Copeland should be set for success when he retires from the NFL. He reportedly saves 90 percent of his income, and firm founder George Weiss says he'd hire the athlete the second his NFL career is over.

2. Bernard Reedy

Photo courtesy of Getty

When he's not on the football field, New England Patriots wide receiver Bernard Reedy works an $11 an hour job as a driver for Car Ride, a transportation company for people in wheelchairs. He told ESPN that he picked up the gig in his hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida, after being dropped by the Atlanta Falcons in 2015.

Reedy says whenever he would get discouraged by the challenges of his NFL career, he would think about the individuals he worked with and ask, "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."

3. A.J. Francis

During his time as a reserve defensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins, A.J. Francis opened up about how he makes $40-$50 an hour in the off-season as an Uber driver.

Despite his $510,000 contract with the NFL, the athlete, who now plays for the Washington Redskins, said he still wanted to earn some extra cash.

"I'm not putting all my eggs in one basket," he told the New York Post after an off-season practice in 2015.

4. Jordy Nelson

During the off-season, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson works 12 hour days on his family's farm in Riley, Kansas.

The athlete, who has a four-year, $39 million contract, told ESPN that for five or six weeks each year he works on the farm, where he drives a combine and cuts wheat or rounds up the 1,000-cow herd.

"I probably identify more as a farmer [than a football player]," he said. "Around here, I'm just the farm kid that they have always known."

5. Matt Elam

Safety Matt Elam was a first round pick by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2013 draft. He's also an off-season shoe salesman at Finish Line. He told that he started the job because he wants to one day own a sports merchandise store.

"I just need to get retail knowledge," he said. "That's basically what I'm doing. I'm getting that knowledge for when it's time."

Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook!

Don's miss: New England Patriot Bernard Reedy will return to this $11 an hour job after the Super Bowl

Here's how much the highest-ranked NFL players make today compared to when they started
make it

Stay in the loop

Sign Up

About Us

Learn More

Follow Us