New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie confesses he wasn't suited to advise anyone how to spend their money when he blew through $5 million in two seasons with the San Diego Chargers.
Nowadays, he's willing and able to share just that message.
"Right now, I try to put away as much money as I possibly can and live on a budget," Cromartie said in a Newsday interview. "I learned the hard way."
Cromartie said he has gone from a collection of nine cars, including a pair of Cadillac Escalades and a 1965 Caprice, to a tiny fleet of which his primary ride is a Toyota Prius.
Cromartie became the Jets' top cornerback when the team traded Darrelle Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prior to the draft. He held that role most of last season with Revis (knee) on injured reserve.
He's also doing his best to provide leadership in any way possible to help young players, including 2013 first-round pick Dee Milliner, avoid financial pratfalls. Cromartie, a first-round pick of the Chargers out of Florida State, has 10 children with eight different women.
"I want to help others learn from what I did wrong," he said. "...I tell young guys, 'Don't spend any money the first year and a half of your career. You don't know what will happen after that.'"
Cromartie has worked with a financial adivsor to be secure through age 100 and his children all have accounts to cover them through college.