Former Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos running back Clinton Portis signed an eight-year, $50.5 million that included $17 million in combined signing and option bonuses in 2004. At the time, the deal made him highest-paid running back in NFL history.
Portis had just come off of back-to–back 1,500 yard seasons and would go on to rush for almost 6,000 yards in his first four NFL seasons.
But just a few short years after he retired in 2009, the majority of that money is gone.
Portis details how he went from that contract to filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Brian Burnsed's Where Are They Now profile of Portis in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated.
The spending habits of Portis and trusting the wrong people were his undoing. He trusted advisors Jeff Rubin and JineshBrahmbhatt, both of whom were registered financial advisers with the NFL Players Association.
"They come impressive,” Portis told Burnsed. “The complication begins because you don’t understand it. You don’t know what they’re saying, but you just get involved.”
Brahmbhatt was later banned by the NFLPA for running a Ponzi scheme.
Rubin got Portis to invest $1 million in an Alabama casino. That casino was shut down in 2012 after the state's regulators got involved. Portis says that in all $3.1 million from his account was taken by Rubin.
When the total amount of his debt was tallied, it reached a staggering $5 million.
According to court documents, Portis owed $412,000 in domestic support to four women, $390,000 due to the IRS, $287,000 more owed to the MGM Grand casino and $170,000 to the Borgata and $500,000 to his own mother.
Portis is now a regular guest on former teammate Chris Cooley’s radio show, and the two host a weekly Redskins-related television show during the season.