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.”

Todd Smith

About Todd Smith

Todd Smith is a part-time sportswriter who spends too much time arguing on Twitter. What he really loves is eating poorly and watching football. He got his first Colts t-shirt in 1984 shortly after the Mayflower trucks arrived and has never given up on his hometown team. He also still holds to the belief that Kordell Stewart stepped out of the end zone and thus cheated the Colts.

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