Despite earning over $700,000 and establishing himself as one of the top running backs in the NFL last season, Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris has no plans to get rid of the 1991 Mazda 626 that he drove from Florida to Virginia for his first NFL training camp last summer.
“Actually, Mazda has her," Morris said from Redskins training camp on Thursday. "She’s getting refurb – Mazda is going to make her like new, like she came off the floor on ‘91. They actually just took it, so we’re going to switch cars while they’re doing it. They said it would take about 6–8 weeks to do it, but they’re going to totally refurbish it, so I’m happy about that… They’re just (refurbishing) it so that it can run for about 20 more years."
Morris proudly parked the economical compact amid a players' parking lot dotted with luxury SUVs and pledged that his kids would one day drive the car.
"One day, my kids are going to drive that car. If it breaks down, I'm gettin' it fixed. That's just how I am," Morris told the team's official website.
At the time, Morris was smart to not upgrade his vehicle. As a sixth-round pick, Morris received a $123,100 signing bonus and, at the time, had only earned $45,882 (before taxes) of his $390,000 non-guaranteed base salary. Morris would go on to rush for 1,613 yards, second only to Adrian Peterson last season, and score 13 rushing touchdowns, establishing himself as the Redskins' top running back and one of the better backs in the league entering 2013.
Between his signing bonus ($123,100), base salary ($390,000) and performance-based pay bonus ($211,431), Morris had $724,531 in on-field earnings in 2012. Along with some increased job security, Morris easily could have plunked down some cash on a new car. Instead, he's sticking with the plan to keep the Mazda 626 and one day hand it down to his kids.
It's pretty cool that Morris is sticking to his word and it's very smart of Morris to remain thrifty while playing on his rookie contract. We're not as sure that Morris' kids will agree with these decisions.
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