Can NFL Players Afford a Lockout?

NFL players lockout could destroy players in financial distress like JaMarcus Russell
NFL players lockout could destroy players in financial distress like JaMarcus Russell

The average National Football League player makes around $850,000 a year, yet, according to an expert interviewed by MSNBC, 22% of the league's 1,700 players have no savings to fall back on should the threatened lockout occur. Shocked? You shouldn't be. The combination of youth and large amounts of money has led to the downfall of many pro athletes.

Witness JaMarcus Russell, the first pick in the 2007 NFL draft, who signed a contract worth $61 million. After failing miserably at playing quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, Russell was released at the end of the 2010 season. TMZ recently reported that Russell is now in danger of losing his house after falling almost $200,000 behind in paying his mortgage.