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20 NFL Stars Who Lost Everything

National Football League players who emerge as stars in the league and who sign multiple contracts make millions upon millions of dollars each year. Those who are the best of the best at their positio

National Football League players who emerge as stars in the league and who sign multiple contracts make millions upon millions of dollars each year. Those who are the best of the best at their positions could, depending on how long they play and where they are in lineups, make literally over a hundred million dollars per NFL salaries by the time they are finished playing. That does not even account for local and national endorsement deals that those players sign throughout their careers. Successful NFL stars, on paper, have it made, and they should be set for life due to playing in the league.

That, as history has shown over the decades, has not always been the case. One study that was released in April 2015 suggested that roughly 16 percent of NFL players will be broke within 12 years of retiring from the league. While that is a brighter number from a 2009 study that stated that around 78 percent of players would be either broke or in financial distress just a couple of years after retiring, the figures are still concerning for those who work in the NFL and also for fans who cannot help but wonder just how these people who are supposedly on top of the world fall apart so quickly.

Such downfalls happen in a variety of ways. Sometimes, it is simply a matter of a player being convinced to invest money into a business that never really had an opportunity of succeeding in the first place. While those bankruptcy stories are common and appear often, there are even worse and downright despicable stories that make the stomach turn.

Most recently is the tale of an extremely talented tight end who, for whatever reasons, never escaped his past, and all indications as of the posting of this piece are that he will never again be a free man. What a waste of talent.

20 Josh Gordon

Via Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

19 Chris McAlister

Via nfl.com

18 Travis Henry

Via blogs.suntimes.com

17 Deuce McAllister

Via nfl.com

16 Vince Young

Via imgkid.com

15 Johnny Unitas

14 Mark Brunell

Via Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports Images

13 Lawrence Taylor

12 Tiki Barber

11 Terrell Owens

Via philadelphia.cbslocal.com

10 Michael Vick

Via Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports Images

9 Ray Rice

Via Brad Penner-USA TODAY Images

8 JaMarcus Russell

7 Warren Sapp

Via Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Images

6 Mark Ingram, Sr.

Via nypost.com

5 Bernie Kosar

Via galleryhip.com

4 O.J. Simpson

3 Ryan Leaf

Via sportsfeedia.com

2 Rae Carruth

Via footballnation.com

1 Aaron Hernandez

Via The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots tight end had all that he possibly could have wanted in 2012 when he was handed a $40 million contract extension from the club. Little did the public know that Hernandez had, one month before he was awarded with that deal, allegedly gunned down two individuals, and nobody at the time could have guessed that he would be convicted of a different murder charge in April of 2015. Hernandez is, by all accounts, a sociopath who embraced being a gangbanger rather than the opportunities that had been presented to him, and the biggest shame of all is that at least one person is no longer with us because of Hernandez's actions.

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20 NFL Stars Who Lost Everything