Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ex-Jaguar: Brunell Will Recover; Boselli and Barker Say Their Former Teammate Was a Victim of Real Estate Collapse

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ex-Jaguar: Brunell Will Recover; Boselli and Barker Say Their Former Teammate Was a Victim of Real Estate Collapse

Article excerpt

Byline: VITO STELLINO

Mark Brunell became the latest NFL player to fall upon hard financial times with his bankruptcy filing Friday, but two former teammates said his problems had more to do with the collapse of the real estate market than anything else.

"I don't think it's a reflection on Mark as a person," said Bryan Barker, a punter for the Jaguars from 1995-2000 and founder of Jags Ambassadors, a group of former Jaguars.

"Mark is a great guy and he's smart and he'll recover from this. This isn't a case where a player didn't do much for five years after he retired and spent all of his money. He got involved in an investment strategy at exactly the wrong time."

Barker said many real estate investors likely suffered the same fate as Brunell, but their problems don't get as much notice because they weren't pro athletes.

Tony Boselli, the first player the Jaguars drafted in 1995 and one of Brunell's closest friends, said, "It wasn't because he was an NFL player. He got caught in a very large economic downturn."

Brunell, a former Pro Bowl quarterback for the Jaguars who was paid nearly $52 million during the past 10 years of his 16-year NFL career, faces multiple lawsuits from failed real estate and business loans in Florida, Michigan and elsewhere.

Brunell issued a statement Thursday night announcing his intention to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. He filed Friday evening.

Brunell, who played for the Jaguars from 1995-2003 and lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, holds nearly every Jacksonville career passing record. He was the backup quarterback on a New Orleans Saints team that won the Super Bowl last season. He became a free agent and has not signed with another team.

The financial plights of former NFL players often make the headlines, and in 2006 former Green Bay Packers player Ken Ruettgers, the executive director of gamesover. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.