NFL

Ndamukong Suh’s Unlikely Friendship With Warren Buffett Helped Set Him up for Retirement

DT Ndamukong Suh came into the NFL with a bang. After a strong senior year at Nebraska, the Lions took him with the second overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft. He found success in his first few seasons in the league, but his numbers have dropped a bit in recent years as he has bounced around to multiple teams after leaving the Lions in free agency.

Regardless of how his career ends, he is well-prepared for his post-NFL life, at least financially. And part of that is because of his friendship with Warren Buffett. Here is how Buffett is helping Suh prepare for his retirement.

Ndamukong Suh’s football career

As a fifth-year senior for the Cornhuskers in 2009, Suh recorded 12 sacks on his way to winning a number of awards, including the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and the AP Player of the Year. That performance helped vault him to the top of most draft boards, and he ended up going No. 2 overall in draft.

He recorded 10 sacks for Detroit in his rookie season in 2010, with 66 tackles and a touchdown on a fumble recovery. In 14 games in 2011, his numbers dropped to four sacks and 36 tackles.

A profitable NFL career

After being drafted, Suh signed a five-year, $65.39 million contract with the Lions. Despite not matching his rookie numbers again, Suh got paid in free agency following the 2015 season, when the Dolphins gave him a six-year, $114 million contract.

But they cut him in March 2018 — which means he got $60 million out of the contract — and he subsequently signed a one-year deal with the Rams worth $14 million. Suh then signed another one-year deal in 2019 — this one with the Buccaneers, with a value of $9.25 million.

He is remaining with the Bucs in 2020 after re-signing with the team with a one-year, $8 million deal. Given Suh’s career earnings are on the verge of crossing $150 million, it is wise for him to be looking to future and his post-NFL career, especially as a 33-year-old who is in the back half of his career.

He is a budding entrepreneur who has invested in an emoji app called Genies, and he is being mentored by one of the top businessmen in America, who Suh is able to call a friend.

Ndamukong Suh gets financial advice from Warren Buffett

That friend is Warren Buffett, whose net worth is estimated to be in excess of $70 billion, so he is a good person from whom to get financial advice. Suh has called Buffett “a great mentor” of his and says that the multibillionaire “usually finds time to come and see me” when the player seeks advice from him.

The two usually meet two or three times a year, according to Suh, in addition to regularly speaking on the phone. So how did a player like Suh form a relationship with someone like Buffett? Through former Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne.

Suh credits Buffett, an Omaha native, as helping to give him a strong “understanding [of] how the world works really how I can manage my own funds that I’ve come into and create success.”

Getting that knowledge from someone like Buffett will allow Suh to avoid being one of those players who is a high draft pick that ends up leaving the league “being broke and having issues.” No matter how much longer Suh is able to play, he seems prepared for his life after the gridiron and should be set financially for a while after he retires.