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Here's what NFL star Chris Long spent his first big paycheck on 

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Why NFL player Chris Long regrets leasing this "old man" car

NFL star Chris Long made headlines last year for donating his entire 2017 salary, $1 million in total, to charity. The move earned Long much-deserved praise, but he tells CNBC Make It that he hasn't always spent his professional football earnings so wisely.

Long, 33, is a defensive end for the reigning Super Bowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles, who kick off the new NFL season Thursday night with a game against the Atlanta Falcons. Long played in the NFL for over a decade, starting in 2008 in St. Louis, and he's earned roughly $92 million in total salary and other wages over his NFL career, according to Spotrac.

Chris Long of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles
Kevin C. Cox | Getty Images

Entering his 11th season in the NFL, Long says he still remembers his "first big paycheck" in the NFL and what he spent it on. Long, who earned $2.9 million over his first season in the NFL, tells CNBC Make It that he used his first paycheck to lease a car.

"My first big paycheck — this is kind of funny — I bought a Cadillac DTS," Long says. "I thought it looked really comfortable."

The DTS, a full-size luxury sedan produced by Cadillac between 2006 and 2011, cost at least $43,000 in 2008, according to Autotrader. Long tells CNBC Make It that he chose to lease the sedan because it thought it was a more sensible choice than some of the flashier vehicles he saw his teammates buying at the time.

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"I thought, like, 'I'm making a good choice here because I'm not buying the, like, [Hummer] H2 or the [Rolls-Royce] Phantom that a lot of my teammates were buying," Long says. "And it was the truth because I got tired of [the DTS] pretty quickly and [the price] didn't hurt too bad."

Long says he ended up ditching the Cadillac before his lease was up because he'd grown tired of the way it looked. "It was a really comfortable car, but it looked like an old man car and then I got some better taste and eventually sold it," he says.

In a 2008 interview, Long mentioned that he loves his Cadillac DTS for its "smooth ride" and he noted that he'd one day like to own a classic Lincoln Continental. Long's car collection at the time also included a 1983 Mercury Grand Marquis as well as a Hummer H2, he said, which means Long must have eventually caved and opted to buy something a bit more flashy (the H2 cost over $57,000 in 2008).

Don't Miss:

Why Super Bowl winner Chris Long donated his entire 2017 salary to charity

As a late bloomer Aaron Rodgers almost quit football to be a lawyer — now he's the highest-paid player in NFL history

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