Work

The surprising way NFL star Michael Bennett spent his first big bonus

Michael Bennett #77 of the New England Patriots looks on from the sidelines during the preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on August 8, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan.
Rey Del Rio | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

New England Patriots defensive end Michael Bennett is a three-time Pro Bowler who is in his 11th season with the league.

Not only has he appeared in several playoff games throughout his career, but he also won a 2014 Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks. That win, according to the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, earned Bennett and each of his teammates an additional $92,000.

Unlike some athletes who irresponsibly blow through their bonuses, Bennett revealed on the "Kneading Dough" podcast that he spent his first big bonus wisely.

"The first thing I did when I got one of my first signing bonuses is that I bought a $2 million policy for life insurance," he said. "So that was one of the first things I did, just to make sure that if nothing else happens, this money will be put away regardless."

Michael Bennett #77 of the New England Patriots looks on from the sidelines during the preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on August 8, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan.
Rey Del Rio | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

As an NFL veteran who has earned millions throughout his career, Bennett said he often shares financial advice with younger players in the league so that they too can set themselves up for success.

"I think for young athletes, I would tell them about investments," he said. "So getting them caught up, whether it's real estate, whether it's stocks, whether it's life insurance."

He emphasized that he often stresses to young players the importance of compound interest, meaning they can make an investment and see their money grow.

"Compound interest is something I talk to a lot of athletes about, and it's something they don't really understand until you start telling them, 'It's the greatest thing in the world to be sitting on [money] and get a check from somewhere or look at your stock and see it jump exponentially every week or every year.'"

Similar to Bennett, recently-retired New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski said he also offers financial advice to young athletes. In an interview with CNBC Make It, Gronkowski said he tells rookie athletes "financially, I just say keep it simple."

The 30-year-old added, "Get what you need to live comfortably, but don't go crazy with splurging until you feel comfortable in the league."

Like Bennett, who practices smart spending habits despite earning millions, Gronkowski said he's also saved quite a bit of his NFL money to ensure that he's financially secure later. In fact, the former NFL player revealed in his 2015 book, "It's Good to Be Gronk," that he had not spent a dime of his contract money while in the league. Instead, he relied on the money from his endorsements to survive.

"I just wanted to [save money] throughout my NFL career because I know that — and I've seen it with my own eyes — that it might not last long," he told CNBC Make It last month.

Like this story? Subscribe to CNBC Make It on YouTube!

Don't miss: Why NFL star Michael Bennett skips direct deposit and keeps his checks 'until the end of the season'

VIDEO1:2701:27
Ex NFL player Martellus Bennett says his biggest splurge is books — and he has 3,500 of them
make it

Stay in the loop

Sign Up

About Us

Learn More

Follow Us

CNBC.COM