Official NFL playing-time documents show that over his 10-year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, current Cincinnati Bengals linebacker James Harrison played in 7,145 snaps on defense or special teams. Considering the physical, often violent nature of the sport, and Harrison's own playing style, that will lead to a lot of wear and tear on the body.
Since Harrison uses his body to make a living, it would make sense that he would spend some of his earnings in keeping himself in prime physical condition. During his introductory press conference with the Bengals on Tuesday, Harrison disclosed that he has spent upwards of half a million dollars per year on his body.
“My body is what helps me to make money," Harrison said. "Whatever there is that I need to do to try and make myself better or get myself healthy, I’m going to do it. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to say that I spend anywhere between $400,000-$600,000 on body work, as far as taking care of my body, year-in and year-out.
"As far as training, I have a hyperbaric chamber. I rent a hyperbaric chamber when I’m in Arizona. I have massages and I bring people in from New York, Arizona to where I’m at. There’s that cost. Like I said, I get body work almost every single day except Saturday and Sunday. I have a homeopathic doctor and I do a lot of homeopathic things. It’s just a lot, supplements, so on and so forth.”
In addition to the financial commitment, Harrison also spends considerable time each day getting worked on.
“Getting stretched, maybe an hour or so. Ice tub, hot tub, cold tub, maybe another extra 30 or 40 minutes," said Harrison. "Massage, maybe another two-to-four hours per day."
Harrison earned over $23 million over the four previous seasons, so spending a few hundred thousand dollars per year on chiropractors, acupuncture and massage therapy probably did not seem that excessive. Harrison added that he hasn't felt this good since 2008 or 2009, but he may need to cut back on the "body work" expenses moving forward.
Harrison's two-year contract with the Bengals is worth a total of $4.45 million and only his $1.2 million signing bonus is guaranteed.