Retired NFL player Chad Johnson shares how he saved salary by wearing fake jewelry

Francis Akhalbey February 02, 2023
Chad 'Ochocinco' Johnson said he saved over 80% of his NFL salary by cutting down on his spending -- Photo Credit: Keith Allison

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson may have made millions of dollars while plying his trade as an NFL player. But the retired wide receiver recently made it known he wasn’t for that luxurious lifestyle during his playing days as he saved over 80% of his salary by being modest in his spending.

The 45-year-old opened up about his spending habits during a sit-down with Shannon Sharpe on his “Club Shay Shay” podcast. Johnson, who is said to have made about $48 million during his playing days, revealed he took Spirit Airlines flights and wore fake jewelry to save money, Mail Online reported.

“Fly private? I ain’t flying private,” Johnson said. “Put me on Spirit Exit row. Window seat. That’s all I need. As long as I get from point A to point B. I don’t need private.”

Johnson spent 11 seasons in the NFL and played for teams including the Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots, and Miami Dolphins. And though the 45-year-old was in good financial standing, he told Sharpe he “never bought anything real” when he was actively playing football.

“Never,” he added. “What was the point? I went to Claire’s. For what? What am I doing it for? The women are going to deal with you anyway, because of who you are, and then the other women, who are really doing their homework done Googled how much you make already.”

“Why am I buying a $50,000 watch, $80,000 watch?” he questioned. “I done saved 80 [to] 83 percent of my salary.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Johnson also advised NFL players to check their spending if they receive big paydays for improved performances. “If you can get to a point in your career where your name becomes bigger than anything you can purchase, there’s your value,” Johnson, who is known for leaving big tips for waiters and waitresses, said.

“Everybody is caught up in image and looking a certain way and being rich. It’s me. It’s pointless,” the six-time Pro Bowler added. “You know how hard it’s to live like that all the time, consistently, and be fly every day?”

Johnson spent the majority of his career with the Bengals, playing for them from 2001 to 2010. He was selected to the All Pro first team on three occasions and was also the NFL’s receiving yards leader in 2006. 

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 2, 2023


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