The timing of this story couldn't be any more prudent. As the NFL is pushing for 18-games with less money for the players, the story of Wilber Marshall is quite saddening. I suggest listening to the interview in it's entirety (after the jump), but in short, Marshall chose to have a deferred contract instead of receiving a big bonus upfront, and now he's stuck paying the bill on a loan he took out when the Bears decided to stop paying him. Add on top of that he has to pay his own disability and it's pure anger to see a legend like #58 in such dire straights (he filed for bankruptcy in 2002).
Marshall: "I had a guaranteed contract and the Bears were suppose to pay $72,000 for 19 years. They stopped paying after 11. It's crazy. They re-negged on a guaranteed contract...I deferred my signing bonus to help them out. I took out a note lump sum and and they had to keep making payments on the note. They stopped making payments...The thing is, I had to put up collataral for this note. $600K.
According to the doctors I need both knees replace and shoulder. I have spine problems from all the hits, crushing blows from the neck to the tailbone. Carpel tunnel on the arms from the turf. You name it."
Host: "That turf at Soldier Field in the day was concrete with a green rug on it."
So, it appears to be a clear case of Marshall getting taken advantage of. He's got heavy lawyer and medical bills with no assistance from anyone. It certainly doesn't help that his original lawyer in this mess died. Moral of the story: When someone owes you money - take it all upfront.
How can this story get worse? When Marshall filed for disability in 1997, two years after retiring, he was denied care. WTF! He had to sue the NFL and eventually won....11 YEARS LATER.
(H/T Extreme Skins)