One of the advantages of being a professional athlete is having enough cash to spend on unnecessary frivolities and luxuries. Private jets, large mansions, and expensive supercars are not exempted from the extensive list. Out of all these various luxuries, the type of cars these sports stars drive seems to draw more attention to the media than all other assets they own.
Most professional athletes spend a lot of money in the tune of hundreds of thousands to buy these expensive toys. After all, they earn millions of dollars which funds the kind of lifestyle they live. Therefore, it would be rare to find a pro athlete driving around in an old rickety vehicle, right?
Well, the answer to that is two-sided – a yes and a no. Even though it’s rare, there’s still a handful of professional athletes who earn millions of dollars and find it hard to follow the bandwagon. These particular athletes are frugal in their spending, so they avoid buying expensive cars. Instead, they stick to the old cars they had before becoming stars or better still, buy a regular sedan or a van (like one of the NFLers on this list).
In this article, we will have a look at 10 NFL running backs that are living the life of affluence and enjoying it, by purchasing expensive and luxury cars. And on the flipside, we will also list out their 10 colleagues that drive the ugliest vehicles on the planet, just because they're trying to be frugal in their spending.
So let’s rumble!
20 Drew Brees – Bugatti Veyron (Cool Car)
Drew Brees is one individual that has made an indelible mark in his career. He has shown it times without number as he breaks NFL passing records every year. In the process of breaking records, Drew has acquired enough money that has landed him in the class of the richest NFL players.
What more? Drew loves cars and since he has the finances to back up the affection, he doesn’t hold back. According to Fox News, he owns one of most expensive cars in the NFL which is the Bugatti Veyron. The Veyron doesn’t only accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 2.5 seconds, but it produces 1,200hp – fit enough for an athlete of such stature!
19 Jared Allen -1969 Cadillac Coupe Deville (Ugly Car)
Jared Allen is a rich NFL player who drives a “make-believe” car. In other words, he drives an ugly car that he struggled to make look like an expensive classic. We have to admit that the Cadillac Coupe Deville looks the part of a car that’s worth a lot of money, but it goes for less than $25,000.
The design isn’t such a pleasant one considering that the model is a major overhaul. According to Top Speed, the 1969 Cadillac Coupe Deville has a grille that slants backward and a pillar that slants forward, which adds to its rather distasteful looks. Regardless, Jared seems to be having a good time with his choice.
18 Reggie Bush – Lamborghini Aventador (Cool Car)
Who doesn’t envy Reggie Bush? Asides the fact that he has a beautiful wife by his side, Reggie has a hot ride to go with the flow. His car isn’t a random car, but a Lamborghini Aventador. According to Top Speed, if you choose to buy the base model, it costs about $397,000. But if you prefer to add the extra packs it goes for about half a million.
The model isn’t only engineered to precision, but it comes with a 6.5-liter V12 engine. The engine produces 690hp put through a seven-speed semi-automatic transmission. The Aventador accelerates from 0 to 60mph in 2.9 seconds and has a top speed of 217mph.
17 Kirk Cousins – GMC Passenger Van (Ugly Car)
The moment Jimmy chose to sign the largest contract in NFL history, it favored Kirk Cousins. According to CBS Sports, Kirk is the hottest name on the open market as the number has been set to almost $140 million.
There’s a probability that Kirk would sign a contract that is above his worth, but it’s entirely dependent on the team that he deems fit to sign with. Regardless of all that’s happening for him presently, he prefers to hold his head high with his prudent lifestyle that leaves him with an ugly GMC Passenger van. Kirk has reasons for his choice and it appears to be working for him.
16 Matt Forte – Ferrari 458 Italia (Cool Car)
Matt Forte showcases his loyalty by staying true to the Chicago Bears for almost all his career as an NFL running back, before moving to join the New York Jets. Therefore, we aren't surprised at his esteemed loyalty for the Italian based automaker, Ferrari.
According to CBS Sports, Forte made an enormous amount of money throughout his career. With over $45 million career earnings, Matt Forte has all he needs to spoil himself badly, considering that he has a good sense of style and class. Thus, the NFL running back didn’t have to hesitate when he got himself a favorite toy: a custom-made Ferrari 458 Italia.
15 Alfred Morris – 1991 Mazda (Ugly Car)
The Washington Redskins drafted in Alfred Morris in the 6th round, 173rd overall in 2012. He wasn’t the first choice for the Redskins playing the running back role when he got in, but he improved his game and worked his way up into getting a starting place.
Morris lived up to expectation and shocked the fans when he rushed for 1,613 and 12 touchdowns in a short period. In the 2015 season, the Dallas Cowboys drafted him to play a running back role and back DeMarco Murray. Later on, he faced some little setbacks in 2016, which gave him a limited number of snaps on the field. So, he stuck to his old and ugly 1991 Mazda 626, to limit spending.
14 Ezekiel Elliott – Bentley Continental GT (Cool Car)
Ezekiel is a controversial NFL player who has had one too many off-field issues popping up in his face. With all the drama going on, it’s only natural that he keeps a low profile right? Well, Ezekiel doesn’t think so because he rides around in a car that drops jaws and retains stares till he is out of sight.
That car happens to be the Bentley Continental GT, a luxurious two door Coupe straight from the Brits. According to Top Speed, the weight and big engine of the car contribute immensely to the speed of the car and its handling. It looks like Elliott chose a car that defines his personality pretty well.
13 Giovani Bernard – Honda Odyssey (Ugly Car)
Sometimes it’s difficult to match NFL players with the ride they choose to flaunt. Giovani is a good example of one of those players. He chose a vehicle that looks more like something for soccer moms. Despite the fact that this ugly minivan doesn’t resemble what a professional athlete would opt for, Giovani is madly in love with it.
According to Fox News, the 2007 Honda Odyssey minivan belongs to his girlfriend’s mother. As a running back for the Cincinnati Bengal, Bernard is expected to make over $4 million. So, a car like this by his side is evidently far below expectation.
12 Jamaal Charles – Lamborghini Gallardo (Cool Car)
According to CBS Sports, Jamaal has a net worth that falls within the range of $49 million. He plays as a running back for Denver Broncos and he earns a yearly salary of about $13 million. With an amount like that, he chose to spoil himself silly with a Lamborghini Gallardo.
It’s no surprise anyway, considering that Jamaal is one of the highest paid players in the league, and one of the strongest running backs. According to Top Speed, the Gallardo costs over $200,000 and it can accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 3.9 seconds with a top speed of 199mph.
11 James Harrison – FourTwo (Ugly Car)
James Harrison is a 39 year old professional footballer. He plays for the New England Patriots and his car is one ugly mess that doesn’t represent his profession in grand style. If you think that the name FourTwo is a typo, you’re wrong because it’s the actual name of the model of the car. And to make matters worse, it was the brainchild of Mercedes and Swatch.
According to Fox News, 2015 was a good year for the model as it sold over 1.5 million units. The name of the car came from its seating capacity. From the look of things, James is fine with the crowd on the field, but he prefers privacy in his vehicle.
10 Joe Haden – Lamborghini Murcielago (Cool Car)
With a pay that’s close to $7 million in a year, you can tell that Joe has a level of consistency with his performance over the years. He plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers and with the kind of money he makes in a year he can decide to do a lot of things.
It’s apparent that Joe Harden has a keen eye for cool machines since he went for one of Lamborghini’s most successful supercars – the Murcielago. Thanks to the white exterior and aesthetic styling, it’s almost impossible not to notice Joe’s car. According to Top Speed, the model has a limited top speed of 210mph and accelerates from 0 to 60mph in 3 seconds.
9 Stevie Johnson – 1987 Chevrolet Caprice (Ugly Car)
No doubt, Stevie Johnson had a fantastic career when he was with the Buffalo Bills, but we can’t say the same about his choice of car. We have to give Stevie some credit though, for trying to turn a 1987 Chevrolet Caprice beast into a beauty. He was able to end up with a not-so-ugly car after several modifications.
Even though the Caprice model was supposed to be an improvement compared to the earlier versions, the weight didn’t undergo any reduction. According to Top Speed, the aerodynamics of the car didn’t improve and it uses a V8 engine that produces 115hp – a pure waste of good ol’ USA fuel.
8 Frank Gore - Maserati Quattroporte (Cool Car)
Frank Gore is one NFL player that has gone through thick and thin career-wise and came out a victor. He wasn’t born with a silver spoon, but he was able to climb the ladder of success despite the challenges he encountered on the way like career-threatening injuries. Now, Frank, the Miami Dolphin star, has a success story with a Maserati Quattroporte on the side.
According to Top Speed, the Maserati Quattroporte uses a twin-turbo 3.0 liter V6 engine that produces 404hp, which is mated with an eight-speed automatic and rear wheel drive. It also has a splendid leather-lined cabin that comes with an 8.4 inch infotainment system.
7 Antonio Cromartie – Toyota Prius (Ugly Car)
Antonio Cromartie is an interesting NFL player who knows how to score on the pitch and off as well. Antonio had over 9 luxury cars chilling in his garage before 2013, but all that changed when he developed affection towards the Toyota Prius. According to CBS Sports, Antonio stated that it costs him a few bucks to fuel his car and he fueled once a week most times.
It looks like Antonio learned prudent spending after blowing $5 million in his first two years of playing professionally in the NFL. Presently, he prefers the life of living on a budget.
6 Odell Beckham Jr. – Rolls-Royce Phantom (Cool Car)
Being absent for the first four games of his rookie season in 2014 ended up as a blessing for Odell Beckham Jr. because he did perform below par, surprising NFL fans. In that same season, he did unusual things no one expected like catching a 43-yard touchdown pass by using one hand, with a fall that made him a superstar.
According to Fox News, Odell’s game rise also indicated a higher raise, so, he decided to fulfill his childhood fantasy to buy a Rolls-Royce Phantom – which is by far the hottest car in his collection of vehicles. Odell is so proud of the car that he flaunts it at any given chance.
5 Darren McFadden – Cop Attracter 5000 (Ugly Car)
Even though Darren McFadden isn’t a top player in the NFL, it hasn’t stopped him from living the life he had always fantasized of since he was a little kid, according to Fox News. Darren is a car enthusiast who has a ton of special cars in his garage. A glance at his garage, you’d notice that he does love cars!
McFadden has fantastic cars like the Buick Centurion, which he remodeled to his taste by attaching over-sized tires. He also has a Silver Bentley GT which he purchased for $210,000. With all these, it’s surprising that Darren got a classic Cadillac low-rider and removed the “class” from the “classic” by remodeling the beauty out of it.
4 Brandon Marshall – Porsche 911 GT3 (Cool Car)
Brandon Marshall has been one successful player in the NFL who never shies away from hitting his targets. According to CBS Sports, playing in the New York Giants have been a good run for him where he has been able to average over 155 targets every season.
In 2016, Marshall made a bet with his long-time friend Antonio Brown, that he would have more yards before the season ended. He sealed the bet by putting his sweet Porsche 911 GT3 against Antonio’s Rolls Royce Wraith. He later decided to change the bet because he claimed his Porsche was far expensive than the Rolls Royce. The new bet was to donate to a particular charity of the winner.
3 Chris Johnson – Impala (Ugly Car)
According to Fox News, Chris Johnson is one NFL player who is known for buying classic cars and giving them a custom job that brings out a different and fresh look for the car. He is a big car aficionado who also holds a record for hitting 4.24 time in a 40-yard run. Johnson’s love for cars and the game are mutual.
But, for the 1973 Chevy Caprice Classic, Johnson took it a little too far. We can say he went for the “overkill,” and went too far over the boundaries to come back. The tires of the car appear not to fit right, making the car look weird.
2 Vernon Davis – Bentley Continental GT Convertible (Cool Car)
Washington Redskins star, Vernon Davis, is one NFL player who indeed has got style and class. Thus, we were not surprised when he got the Bentley Continental GT Convertible, which costs about $200,000. It may look like a lot of money, but for someone like Davis who earns millions of dollars, the $200,000 we will only be a small dent to his savings.
According to Top Speed, his Bentley Continental GT Convertible comes with a twin-turbocharged V12 engine which can speed from 0-60 in the space of 4.5 seconds. As a way to secure his car, Vernon installed a unique anti-theft security system on the Bentley Continental GT Convertible and all his other vehicles.
1 Chad Johnson – ForTwo (Ugly Car)
Chad Johnson may have recently retired, but he’s always in the tabloids for one thing or another. According to Fox News, Johnson, once “Ochocinco,” did something not everyone will do, as a player for the Bengals. He offered a sum of $100,000 back to the team because he felt he wasn’t giving his best performance.
He’s one of the NFL players who loved to live a frugal and simple life. With all the millions he made as a player, Chad Johnson chose to buy the FourTwo, instead of classics or supercars he could have bought because he could afford it.
Sources: Top Speed, Fox News, CBS Sports