Jerry Rice is arguably the best player to ever compete in the NFL. But he played before the era of mega contracts, so he didn’t earn nearly as much money as today’s stars do. Rice had a short broadcasting career with ESPN, but he’s largely stayed out of the spotlight since retiring in 2004.
Whatever Rice is doing is paying off — for his bank account, at least. Rice’s net worth has grown since his playing career.
Jerry Rice’s playing career
A 20-year veteran of the league, Rice spent his first 16 seasons with the 49ers, compiling more than 1,200 receptions in 238 games. The Mississippi Valley State University alum gained 176 receiving touchdowns and over 19,000 yards with the 49ers.
Rice spent his last four NFL seasons between the Raiders and Seahawks, playing in 65 games, recording 268 receptions for more than 3,600 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Even today, over 15 years after retiring, Rice remains the all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. The 13-time Pro Bowler won three Super Bowls with the 49ers. He was named the AP Offensive Player of the Year in both 1987 and 1993. Unsurprisingly, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
Rice’s post-NFL career
Rice’s highest-profile job since retiring has been as an NFL analyst for ESPN. He joined the network in 2011, seven years after he retired, because he “need[ed] to be part of a team again.” Rice left the network after two years, in what an ESPN spokesperson called a “mutual” decision.
Perhaps his most personally rewarding experience in retirement has been serving as a mentor. People listen to what he says, given his status as the greatest wide receiver in NFL history. One of Rice’s more famous mentoring opportunities involved controversial receiver Antonio Brown coming to him for advice.
Brown expressed an interest in joining the 49ers, so Rice talked to general manager John Lynch about potentially trading for Brown, which didn’t happen. Rice is also the founder of G.O.A.T. Fuel, a lifestyle brand that brings healthy products and a G.O.A.T. (greatest of all-time) mindset to consumers.
The athlete has also written some books, most recently 2019’s America’s Game: The NFL at 100, which explores the history of the league that made Rice a household name.
Rice’s net worth
During his 20 years in the NFL, Rice earned $23.3 million, averaging just more than $1 million per season. His first NFL contract was a five-year deal worth $1.885 million, which he signed with the 49ers a couple months after being drafted.
Rice’s single highest base salary came in 2000 when he made $2.5 million in his final season with the 49ers. But his highest overall salary occurred in 1996 when he earned $5.6 million — a $1.6 million base salary and $4 million signing bonus.
While that’s good money, it pales in comparison to the league’s biggest paychecks today. Top quarterbacks make in excess of $20 million annually.
Rice’s net worth continues to grow since his 2004 retirement. He currently has an estimated net worth of $55 million.
One big purchase he made is a mansion in Atherton, Calif. that’s worth nearly $15 million. Its amenities include a swimming pool, gym, and library. Among Rice’s cars is a Lamborghini Diablo.
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