Financial Advice for NFL Rookies: Keion Carpenter


Chris Kidd, Financial Coach and Contributor on the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed former NFL Safety, Keion Carpenter. After an eight year career in the NFL Keion founded The Carpenter House and Shutdown Academy.

The NFL Draft is coming up and a lot of guys are about to have more money than they’ve ever seen in their life thrown at them. What advice would you give them as far as planning for their future and handling their money wisely?

Keion CarpenterPlan as if you’re only going to be in the NFL for a year. Because you never know how long you will be in the league. The NFL is the best temporary job you can have. The money will come fast but it will go even faster if you’re not careful. Only get what you need and not what you want. Wait until your 2nd contract to get your wants if your blessed enough to make it that long. Have the same respect for your money that you have for your job. Protect it at all cost!

Do you think being undrafted originally and not having the big money or a multi-year contract thrown at you helped you be able to handle your finances better than you might have if you had been a number one draft pick?

I don’t think so because even making the roster as an undrafted free agent still elevated me to a financial status that was unknown to me. I just didn’t have a whole lot of money to be able to make big mistakes but mistakes was still made on my part my pie wasn’t that big to cover up so my mistakes were more visible to me than say a 1st round pick who had millions up front. But when u go from being broke to an instant millionaire mistakes will be made you just have to minimize them learn and grow from them. Keion Carpenter ATL

What are some financial mistakes you have seen players make that you would try to steer a rookie clear of?

As Players sometimes we over do it with everything. We buy 5 cars for ourselves, we go out and get the biggest house we can imagine which in some cases isn’t bad pending on your situation. We put to much emphasis on the material things that holds no value which gets a lot of us in trouble. We feel like we have to impress others just because of the status quo. We try to keep up with some of the other guys in the locker room who’s been in the league longer than us and who’s money is a lot longer than ours. Just stay within your means just because u make a million don’t mean you have to spend it either. Have a clear understanding of the word Tax! That will help change your outlook on how you spend early. It’s not how much u can make but how much you can keep.

One thing I’ve seen a lot of, and not just pro athletes and entertainers, but most people, is when it comes to investing they get involved in things that they don’t understand or leave it up to someone else to handle or tell them what to do, and it often costs them dearly. What would you say for the guys who know they need to make investments for their future, but may not be as investment savvy yet?

Learn about everything that you want to do. Don’t just rely on your financial advisor or Business manger to do everything for you. Have them educate you on the moves that you should make that way you will have a better understanding of what’s going on. You are the CEO of your finances so act as such. As players we are so detailed when it comes to football but we don’t carry that same attitude with our money just imagine if we did. It would be powerful. And if you don’t know something Ask as many questions as possible. We all think that money will come the same way forever but truth is we are 1 bad play away from being cut and we are 1 injury away from it being over.

It’s also tax time, and that’s another thing that can cause some problems for people with unconventional incomes, like pro ball players, entertainers, and business owners, who may not get a regular weekly or bi-weekly paycheck or who are responsible for paying their own taxes since they aren’t already taken out of their checks. What should a rookie be aware of about taxes and what should they do to make sure they don’t end up having problems with the IRS?

We as college athletes don’t pay taxes so I had no idea what that word meant to me until I saw my first check and boy was I in awe. I had to learn what all those letters meant on my check and I wanted to know who they were and why were these people taking so much of my money. Again it all goes back to education we have ask questions going in. The main thing I would tell a rookie is regardless of what the big amount on that contract says you better find out who Uncle Sam is and what his cut will be before you get excited. Being an athlete we are in a higher tax bracket so its cut in half before you even get it. I think that’s a rude awakening for most athletes and entertainers.

I love what you are doing with The Carpenter House and Shutdown Academy, because you are building individuals, not just athletes. You’re equipping them for life and giving them the tools to succeed in whatever they do. How important is it for someone to have their life in order, not just their finances, even if they just signed a multi-million dollar contract?

My philanthropic efforts come from past experiences. If I would have had a Shutdown Academy to help guide me as child a lot of the mistakes I made I probably wouldn’t have made them. So that’s why we go the extra mile for our children its at the young age when they don’t know Any better but they are the most receptive to information. They are like sponges. It’s awesome to pour into someone else life. We have to take care of each other as a community. It’s our responsibility to protect, educate and empower each other. All of the things I went through while on my journey to college and the NFL our Shutdown Academy kids will have the blueprint on what to do and what not to do. Experiences are the best teachers. We preach living a great life being a respectable citizen and doing the very best you can do in everything that you do. We are raising up the next generation to be better then we were and if we can do that then God will be pleased with our efforts. And we will be closer to this world being a better place because there’s better people in it.


Contact information:

Twitter @KeionCarpenter

Facebook Keion Carpenter’s House

Instagram @Carphouse29