Effects of an NFL career: 30 years later

Sports Illustrated looked at the members of the 1986 Bengals to study the effects of an NFL career.  Linebacker Joe Kelly played 11 seasons and was a rookie in 1986.  Like his teammates, the bumps and bruises added up over the years which lead him to this advice:

Kelly, the former linebacker, says, “If I had a son, I would tell him to use his athletic ability to obtain his college degree. I see my college buddies [from Washington] who didn’t get an opportunity to play in the NFL, and the majority of them are a lot more successful. I would say 90 percent of the guys who didn’t make the NFL are a lot more successful now in their 40s than the guys who made the NFL at 21, 22, 23. And in a lot better condition.”

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