NFL

Aaron Maybin Turned $25 Million Rookie Contract Into Art Teaching Job

Aaron Maybin’s NFL career didn’t work out, but his post-football life has helped both him and children in the Baltimore area. A former first-round pick of the Buffalo Bills with a $25 million rookie contract, Maybin has spent the last few years as a teacher and painter in his hometown.

Why didn’t Aaron Maybin’s NFL career, and what has he done in retirement? Let’s take a look.

Aaron Maybin is a forgotten NFL draft bust

Although Aaron Maybin had a tremendous 2008 season at Penn State, many were surprised he left school early for the NFL draft. Maybin recorded 12 sacks and a staggering 20 tackles for loss as a redshirt sophomore.

However, Maybin played as a backup in the Rose Bowl that year and declared for the draft when the season ended.

Although Aaron Maybin clearly had potential, there were concerns about his fit at the next level and how raw he still was. An NFL Media scouting report praised Maybin’s frame and zone coverage, but also questioned his strength and pass-rushing skills.

The Buffalo Bills used the 11th overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft on Aaron Maybin. ESPN’s Mel Kiper projected Maybin would still be a top-15 pick, but fall to the Houston Texans at No. 15.

Aaron Maybin lasted just two seasons and 24 tackles with the Bills. Buffalo made Maybin a healthy scratch midway through his second season and cut him in August 2011.

Maybin briefly found success with the New York Jets

Aaron Maybin played with the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets from 2009-12. Maybin now works as a teacher in Baltimore.
Aaron Maybin played with the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets from 2009-12. Maybin now works as a teacher in Baltimore. | Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images

For a time, it seemed like Aaron Maybin wasn’t going to be a bust after all. Maybin signed with the New York Jets in August 2011 and debuted with the team that October.

The former first-round pick finally recorded his first sack, a strip-sack of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, in a loss on Sunday Night Football.

Aaron Maybin had three strip-sacks in 2011 and ended his third NFL season with six total sacks. His career year went under the radar because the Jets lost their final three games and missed the playoffs.

New York cut Maybin midway through the 2012 season after he had no sacks in 10 games.

Maybin spent the summer of 2013 with the Cincinnati Bengals and later joined the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts. Aaron Maybin officially announced his retirement in May 2014, just over five years after he entered the NFL.

Maybin now works as a teacher in Maryland


Aaron Maybin has stayed busy in retirement. A personal artist whose work was featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks, Maybin became a full-time painter when he retired in 2013. His paintings have reportedly sold as much for $20,000.

Aaron Maybin released a book, “Art Activism,” in 2017. Maybin returned to the national spotlight in January 2018 when his pleas for heated Baltimore schools went viral.

Aaron Maybin worked at Matthew A. Henson Elementary School in Baltimore during a fierce winter. After initially tweeting about his school’s heating issues, Maybin recorded his students freezing because the school had no heat.

A GoFundme page raised about 480,000 to purchase space heaters and clothing for the students. Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith donated 10 cases of bottled water, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Maybin’s movement helped raise awareness for lower-income areas and the children suffering.

“It’s really ridiculous the kind of environment we place our children into and expect them to get an education. I got two classes in one room, kids are freezing. Lights are off. No computers. We’re doing our best but the kids don’t deserve this.”