Transience is just part of a professional athlete's job description. NFL players get traded, cut and put out to pasture each year and ex-NFL stars move just as much while chasing broadcast jobs, career opportunities and cash to pay back creditors. That makes the high-end real estate market a melange of young players' starter homes, veteran mansions bought a team ago and NFL legends' Hall Of Fame homesteads in need of downsizing.
How do you go from one of the most intense, vociferous and well-paid defensive linemen in the game to losing your national championship and Super Bowl rings, having less than $900 in your checking account and being buried under nearly $7 million in debt? You can ask Warren Sapp, but it may be the only topic Sapp won't expound on at high volume.
Sapp earned $77 million during his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders, but a series of bad investments, lax tax payments and alimony and child support obligations put Sapp in the red. He has filed for bankruptcy, has a lien against his earnings and has to sell his collection of 240 size-15 sneakers as part of a court-ordered asset liquidation.
He's also being forced to auction off his house. It was already on the market for $3.8 million. Given the state of Florida's floundering real estate market, his 10,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, 6 1/2-bath home in Windmere will likely fetch far less at a U.S. Bankruptcy Court-ordered auction Nov. 1.
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice just signed a $40 million contract extension this summer. He put up 101 yards and a touchdown in a win over his team's hated rivals, the New England Patriots, two weeks ago. Last week, he ran for more than 80 yards against Cleveland for the sixth-straight time. So why is he still living in an empty-nester condo in Pikesville?
Rice and his teammates have likely asked the same question since he got his big payday. Teammate Ray Lewis owns a 28-acre estate in Reisterstown that makes Rice's 2,100-square-foot hovel look like a walk-in closet. To keep up with Lewis and his own pay grade, Rice put his four-bedroom, 3 1/2-bathroom pad on the market for the bargain price of $339,900.
That's a bit less than the $350,000 he paid for it in 2008, but with homes in Pikesville losing nearly 6 percent of their value in the last year, it may be the price Rice has to pay to sprint to greener pastures.
It used to be Strahan sacking people for losses back when the league's single-season sacks king was leading the New York Giants' defense. Now that Strahan has taken a seat next to Kelly Ripa to assume Regis Philbin's morning talk show duties, and is engaged marry Eddie Murphy's ex-wife, Nicole, he may be the one feeling the pressure.
Strahan's parting with a 2,560-square-foot home in Hermosa Beach, Calif., for nearly $400,000 less than he paid for it back in 2005. The lucky fan who takes over possession after Strahan's loss will get three bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, two master suites, two large living spaces, a gourmet kitchen, an elevator and a rooftop deck.
They'll also get Strahan's custom touches, including hardwood, marble and slate flooring, granite counters and high-end appliances. It's a bit of a hit on Strahan, but a good pickup for savvy fans seeking his view of the shoreline.
There's a generation that remembers Bradshaw as the calculating, championship-winning quarterback for the powerhouse Pittsburgh Steelers teams of the 1970s. Everyone else knows him as the "Fox NFL Sunday" commentator with the folksy, down-home style.
Bradshaw has owned a sprawling ranch in Thackerville, Okla., for several years and just put it on the market. The 8,600-square-foot custom-built home has six bedrooms, six full and two half bathrooms, and another 1,000 square feet of outdoor patio space with a kitchen, firepit and bar area.
Location:Bellevue, Wash. Price: $3.495 million Beds/baths: 4/5 Sq. ft.: 6,340
Why would you own a home in Bellevue, Wash., in the same Medina neighborhood as Bill Gates if you live way across the country and aren't on the Microsoft payroll? Maybe because you're the only Seattle Seahawks quarterback to play in a Super Bowl and the last one to get the team a playoff win.
Hasslebeck held the starting job in Seattle for eight years before being traded to the Tennessee Titans. Though he had to move his wife, Sarah, and their three children across the country, he can be forgiven for building this 6,340-square-foot palace. The house was built in 2005, just after questionable officiating cost Hasslebeck and the Seahawks a Super Bowl title. Figuring that he'd be sticking around awhile, Hasslebeck found a half-acre lot with views of Meydenbauer Bay and built a beast of a home with four bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths, a theater room, gym, heated four-car garage, decks, patios, a children's playset and full video surveillance.
Hasselbeck may be gone, but well-off Seahawks fans looking to relive the glory days (and drown out complaints about bad replacement ref calls and simultaneous possession) may want a walk through Hasselbeck's former home.
When we last saw this California wine-country property, the former Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers quarterback had to slash the price of this Calistoga home by $14 million -- down to $35 million after two years on the market. Sadly, Montana's a whole lot better at convincing his aging, red-and-gold Zubaz-wearing fans to buy pairs of Skechers Shape Ups than he is at convincing well-heeled, middle-age "Sideways" fans to buy his estate.
The home itself still has 10,000 square feet, three bedrooms, 3 1/2 bathrooms and the Montana family crest. It just has all of that with a 31 percent discount for Montana fans and the would-be Jerry Rice of their choosing.