Ex-NFL player Quits Football To Learn How to Grow Vegetables in His Big Backyard

???????? Elaine and I recently caught a CBS interview with Jason Brown, an ex-NFL center. Those guys are already inspirational to us because we enjoy the odd football game and can’t fathom how such large athletes can be so… athletic! Some of these guys run 40m in 5 seconds!

The money isn’t bad either, and it’s allowed Jason to consider other options since he has decided to retire from football to preserve his body and brain.


Jason working in his field!

The St. Louis Rams offered Jason a lucrative contract for an NFL center, one that would pay him $37.5 million over five years, beginning in 2009. After completing five years of said contract, having earned over $25 million of his contract, Brown now works to help feed the hungry, by farming. He learned to grow crops by watching YouTube videos, and was interviewed by CBS News in Louisburg, NC. He has a 1,000 acre farm that he is currently managing.

Brown was cut by the Rams in 2012, but played in the NFL for nine seasons, after being drafted in 2005 at the 124th overall position.

While he wasn’t playing as well as he was in 2009, Brown still was fully capable of playing in the NFL at age 29. Many teams, including the Baltimore Ravens had an interest in working him out and potentially signing him, but he instead chose to retire, despite his career not being remotely finished. I’m certain that the rising discussion on concussions and long-term health involved with professional sports was a factor. Even though they wear pads and gear, those guys are massive!

Despite not knowing anything about farming, he began watching YouTube videos about it, and decided to return to college, by attending the University of North Carolina.

His choice for doing this is to help people who have very little. He donates his crops to various food pantries, and provides a wide variety of vegetables to help with the cause. This past autumn, it was reported that he donated over 10,000 pounds of cucumber, and 46,000 pounds of sweet potatoes. Amazing! ????????

Jason talks about how he doesn’t need to sell anything because he makes enough off investments and just does it to help the community. He didn’t want to go through a NFL career and ruin his body. We talk extensively about being beat after a long day outside, working in the garden. We are close with gardening retirees that have ailments and must respect their time in the yard.

I ran some calculations, mainly out of curiosity. If Jason does this full-time and donates his yields, how will he survive? I imagine he had his finances setup in a way that he earns interest, and the donations of produce can offset taxation? Even after paying his agent (2-3%) and taxes (40-50%) he still has 13 million. If he draws down on %5 that will generate an interest of  $625K/year. Definitely enough and I hope Jason continues his valiant efforts! That to me is worth more than any ring or trophy!

It’s a great story about Jason’s life after a football career. Watch the entire CBS report here: