NFL Players Get Internships In Attempt To Build Second Careers

Thomas Welch
Thomas Welch

In an unstable economy, a job or even a whole career can fall apart at any moment. And so many workers try to have a "Plan B" ready just in case the paychecks stop flowing. But if there was to be one exception to that rule, you would think it would be a professional football player, many of whom earn millions a year.

But according to a report by Bloomberg News, some players in the NFL are interning at major corporations -- in between touchdowns and tackles. It's self-preservation. Despite big paychecks and celebratory headlines, NFL players typically have brief careers, and often find that the money doesn't last through all those years of retirement. In fact, 78 percent of NFL players are broke within two to five years of retirement, according to Sports Illustrated.

While on vacation, Thomas Welch, an offensive lineman with the Buffalo Bills (above), recently completed a six-week internship with the Merrill Lynch Wealth Management division of Bank of America, Bloomberg notes. He earns $540,000 a year as a football player, according to Sportrac.com, the sports salary website. But according to Bloomberg, "he is in the final year of a two-year contract" and says he knows that "his long-term future won't be on a football field."

Welch told Bloomberg that the internship "was a great experience." During his six-week stint, Welch was asked to put together a mock $1 million portfolio. And he did rather well on the test; his investments grew 4.98 percent during the first quarter of 2013. "I got a better understanding of what [bankers] do -- not just about wealth management, but all aspects of the financial industry."