Jordy Nelson Made $56 Million Playing Football But He Still Was ‘Extremely Cheap’ During His NFL Career
During their rich history, the Green Bay Packers have had plenty of legends on their roster. While his name might not stack up with the likes of Brett Favre and Vince Lombardi, Jordy Nelson still had a solid career with the Wisconsin-based club.
In his 11 seasons of professional football, Jordy Nelson’s talent was rewarded with $56 million in NFL salary. Despite that compensation, though, Nelson never changed who he was; for all of his fame and fortune, the wide receiver remained “extremely cheap.”
Jordy Nelson made some good money in the NFL
When you think of legendary NFL receivers, Jordy Nelson probably isn’t the first name that springs to mind. During his time on the gridiron, however, he posted some petty impressive numbers and took home a nice salary.
After growing up as a Kansas State fan, Nelson walked onto the Wildcats football team. While he was initially slated to play defensive back, the coaching staff shifted him to the offensive side of the ball; that proved to be a career-changing decision.
Jordy eventually grew into an All-American receiver and, after graduation, entered into the 2008 NFL Draft; the Green Bay Packers selected him with the 36th overall pick. While Nelson didn’t make too much of an impact first three NFL seasons, that pick eventually turned into a steal.
Nelson became one of Aaron Rodgers’ favorite targets; barring an injury-shortened 2012 campaign, the receiver became a consistent 1,000-yard threat. While his numbers tailed off during the end of his career, Nelson still piled-up 613 catches for a total of 8,587 yards and 72 touchdowns.
Earning $56 million but remaining “extremely cheap”
According to Spotrac’s financial data, Jordy Nelson made a hair under $57 million during his time in the NFL. While that’s a petty nice payday, money didn’t change the receiver’s “cheap” nature.
“Oh, I am extremely cheap,” Nelson once explained on the Dan Le Batard Show in 2015. “Even now, in the NFL, on road trips we get a per diem to go out and have dinner with everyone, like with the receivers or whatnot. … I’ll just stay in the hotel wait until snack at 9 o’clock to eat dinner and not pay for food.”
Upon hearing that, Le Batard was understandably surprised and asked Nelson if he was really “hoarding the per diem” and surviving off the team snacks.
“Yeah,” the wideout simply responded.
Frugality seems to run in Jordy Nelson’s family
Jordy Nelson’s road trip eating habits aren’t a one-off, though. In fact, it seems like frugality runs in the family.
In a 2014 Sports Illustrated feature, Tim Layden explored a bit of Nelson’s background. The receiver grew up on a farm in Kansas; that instilled a sense of humility in everyone.
Money is unlikely to change the Nelson clan,” Layden explained. “[Jordy’s dad] Alan flies into Milwaukee for home games—when he comes in at all, because farms don’t close—and then drives up to Green Bay, because direct flights are more expensive. ‘I know, here I am saying I can’t fly into Green Bay to watch my son play NFL football,” he says. “But that’s the way we roll around here.”
Alan also gave some additional details about his son’s spending habits. “Jordy has filthy money, but look at the property he bought: It’s got junk equipment, trees that need trimming,” he continued. “He’ll deal with it when he gets home. He’s not going to hire somebody to do it.”
Say what you will about Jordy Nelson’s spending habits, but money definitely hasn’t changed him.
Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference