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Calvin Johnson’s financial plan: Take care of family, then say no

Calvin Johnson

Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson celebrates a 23-yard touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)


We routinely write about NFL players who go bankrupt after making tens of millions of dollars in their NFL careers, men who made a fortune in their 20s and 30s and blew it all quickly. Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, who just signed the biggest contract in the history of the league, has a simple plan for avoiding that trap.

Johnson said on SportsCenter today that his plan consists of two elements: His family gets taken care of. All the hangers-on, self-promoting financial advisers and others who ask for his money get told no.

“Sometimes the hardest thing is saying no, but definitely have to take care of my family,” Johnson said.

As soon as the headlines saying Johnson got a seven-year, $132 million contract with $60 million guaranteed started coming, the calls started pouring in from people who wanted a piece of it. Johnson responded by changing his number.

“My phone blows up all the time. I had to change my number,” Johnson said.

Johnson says he’s not allowing the money to change the fact that his primary focus is on winning football games.

“I don’t think things have changed for me,” Johnson said. “Yes, I got a big contract, but my focus is still the same.”