Chad Johnson established a reputation as one of the flashiest players in the NFL. Despite the image he created about himself, Johnson was very frugal when he first entered the league, according to CBS Sports.
He lived in Cincinnati Bengals’ stadium for the first two years of his career when he first entered the league in a bid to save money. As a rookie coming into the NFL, he said there was no need to spend and waste money when everything he needed was in the stadium.
He revealed his frugal lifestyle as a rookie when he appeared as a guest on Shannon Sharpe’s Club Shay Shay podcast. “As a rookie coming into the league, I stayed at the stadium my first two years because there was no point in spending money and wasting money when everything I need is already there,” Johnson told Sharpe, according to Sports Illustrated.
“There’s nothing that I can buy that’s bigger than my name alone. So, it made no sense. But everybody’s caught up in the image and looking a certain way and being rich,” he said. “Do you know how hard it is to live like that consistently and be fly every day?”
Johnson further revealed that he never got a place of his own until he had spent four years in the NFL. He said: “I didn’t move out of my grandmother’s house because I was content and used to where I live. I didn’t move out of my grandmother’s house until my fourth year in the NFL.”
The former professional football player noted that as a result of his frugal lifestyle, he was able to save $80 percent of the salary he made. “People think to fix the problem is, ‘Well, give me more money, and I will be alright.’ But the more you make, the more you spend—if you have no discipline.”
Johnson entered the league in 2001 as a wide receiver for the Bengals. According to CBS Sports, he “totaled 751 receptions for 10,783 yards and 66 touchdowns” in 10 seasons with the Bengals. “All of those numbers still stand as franchise records,” the platform added.
45-year-old Johnson, who is said to have made about $48 million during his playing days, recently revealed that he took Spirit Airlines flights and wore fake jewelry to save money.