This week, former NFL quarterback Vince Young made headlines, as news surfaced of his struggling financial situation... despite earning around $26 million after six seasons in the league.
Critics, media, and even fans have speculated how the 29-year-old NFL pro blew through his fortune. Some said he was the victim of poor financial advice, others said he spent recklessly. What's the truth?
Tennessee sports radio station, 104.5 The Zone, fielded calls during its 3HL show this week from restaurant employees, bar tenders, and others, who claimed to have watched Young blow thousands of dollars on food and drinks for himself and teammates. One witness said she even saw him buy out an entire Southwest Airline flight in 2007 for no apparent reason, other than simply flying home to Houston.
Below is a breakdown of some of his ridiculous spending habits (via ThisIs50.com):
1. Vince Young's favorite restaurant to hang out in? T.G.I. Friday's on Nashville's West End Avenue.
It was here he once dropped $6k on a meal for he and other players. Yes, $6k. At a T.G.I.Friday's. Players would congregate at the bar
2. The bartenders, who got to know Vince thanks to his frequent visits at T.G.I. Friday's, told Vince they'd make him a "special" drink.
It was a melon drop, which VY had everytime he came to the restaurant.
3. During his rookie season, VY spent $5k a week at the Cheesecake Factory.
He always picked up the tab for multiple teammates.
4. On a 2007 Southwest flight from Nashville to Houston, VY bought all of the seats, except for about ten passengers who'd bought tickets before he could buy the entire plane.
The plane seated 130 passengers, meaning VY purchased 120 of the seats.
5. After each home football game, VY headed for the Morton's downtown where he would sit at the bar and order $600 shots of Louis XIII.
That can add up in a hurry.
Vince Young took to Twitter on Wednesday (September 19) to defend himself, claiming things are/were not as bad as the media was making them out to be.
"It's a shame to see people revel in and rally around negativity in the media but I guess it's to be expected. Yes, I need a job, who doesn't," he tweeted (@VinceYoung). "Yes, I want to be out there playing the game I love and earning a paycheck, who wouldn't?
"We are working to rectify some unfortunate finical losses, which stemmed from betrayal by those I trusted most," Young continued. "But these rumors are disheartening & just untrue . I’ll keep pushing through regardless. God Bless. Trill"
Young was drafted with the #3 overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. Before his rookie season, he signed a huge contract with $26 million in guaranteed money. His future looked bright, but after a promising rookie year, where he was named the Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, things seemed to fall apart.
After a few injuries and lackluster seasons, he was eventually released by the Titans in 2011. He signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, serving as a back-up for Michael Vick. However, he was cut and signed a free agent contract with the Buffalo Bills on May 2012, but would be released in August 2012. Now, Young is desperately looking for a job.