Former All-Pro NFL star, Chad Johnson has revealed he stayed at the now-Paycor Stadium for ‘the first two years’ to save money while he played at the top of American football.
After signing his first contract as a rookie for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2001, Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson started earning lots of money but didn’t splash his cash on big cars and houses like other NFL newcomers, he said he rather chose to develop his game.
Johnson, who enjoyed 11 seasons in the NFL, says that instead of lavishing money on a new house, he spent the first two years of his career living inside the Bengals stadium.
‘You gotta remember, I stayed at the stadium the first two years because I didn’t want to spend no money,’ Johnson told Shannon Sharpe’s ‘Club Shay Shay’ show earlier this month.
‘What’s the point? Why are you telling me to go rent a house, go buy a house, or go rent a condo when everything I need is right here in the facility?
‘Showers, cafeteria, TV, couch, gaming system. What’s the point? I was so locked in. It wasn’t about having my own space.’
Johnson said that grounded approach helped lay a foundation on which he built his successful NFL career.
He spent 10 seasons with the Bengals before finishing his playing days with a short stint at the New England Patriots, making six Pro-Bowl teams.
‘I needed that one year lock in to catch the rhythm. In the second year I got that rhythm,’ he said, adding that it was Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis who eventually persuaded him to get his own place.
He claims he never bought real jewelry during his career and, to this day, the 45-year-old says he doesn’t understand why people get carried away by fortune.
‘There is nothing I can buy that’s bigger than my name alone,’ he said, estimating that he saved over 80% of his playing salary.
‘Everybody is caught up in image, and looking a certain way, being rich. It’s pointless.’
Despite earning millions throughout his career, Johnson says he was never tempted to splash out on expensive clothes and fast cars.