Keith McCants Is Messed Up

May 15th, 2011

There are all kinds of stories of former NFL players mismanaging their money, and stories of ex-players effectively being 20 or 30 years older than they really are because of the football pounding they took.

Sadly, former Bucs first-round pick Keith McCants, 43, falls into both categories. Tampa Tribune scribe Joey Johnston caught up with McCants in Pinellas County Jail recently and painted a long, ugly picture of his life. McCants has dementia and doesn’t remember much of his standout college career, among other problems.

“They call me a bust,” he said. “I played six seasons on one leg. I think that’s remarkable. I was always hurt. I was so shot up all the time. Without the dope, I couldn’t play. My body was wrecked, so I didn’t want that needle anymore. I was ready to leave the game.”

With no post-NFL career options, his financial troubles mounted. Court records show he bounced 34 checks over a few days in 1999. The following year, the home he built for his mother was seized by the state of Alabama because of unpaid taxes. In 2004, he went to a Mobile car dealership, took a Lincoln Navigator for a test drive and never returned it. He was indicted by a grand jury and later pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

There was a time when he roamed the streets, not knowing his name, sleeping in cars, eating out of garbage cans, showering in gas stations, wondering where he belonged.

McCants never saw another large contract. The Bucs cut him in 1993. McCants lasted six seasons in the NFL. He draws a monthly $1,100 disability check from the NFL, his only regular income. Since 2004, he has unsuccessfully petitioned the league for an increase based on his physical condition. His pension kicks in at age 55.

Joe can’t feel sorry for McCants blowing his millions. However, the NFL really needs to do more for these guys who have been disabled by the game. Joe suggests you read the whole story on McCants above.

A handful of years ago, Joe worked with another young ex-NFL player, who had spent most, if not all, of his millions. The guy was working a respectable 9-5 job making about $37,000. He was 40 years old, looked good, but walked like a very old man.

There’s got to be better answer to how the NFL handles medical coverage for former players.

13 Responses to “Keith McCants Is Messed Up”

  1. Atrain WD40 Says:

    What if they invested thier money better and even took out insurance in the event an injury ended thier career pre-maturely? What if they were responsible for looking to thier own future like…. the rest of the damn world. Give me a break! He blew millions that i’ll never see and now Joe wants someone else to give him more money to continue to be irresponsible with. BS! $110 disability is more than the government gives most disabled. Your leg hurts… Learn to do A job that you can do. They are out there.

  2. Atrain WD40 Says:

    I meant $1100

  3. Amar Says:

    Nicely said, WD40. $1100 is more than what the government will probably give me as a disabled vet.

  4. Bucbeliever Says:

    Amar- thanks for your service

  5. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @A-Train — You’re claming Joe said something that he didn’t say. That’s not OK. Joe didn’t say anyone should give McCants more money to blow. Joe did not say McCants is incapable of working. Disabled doesn’t mean incapable of working.

    And what makes you think these guys can buy private insurance.

    The point is that the league and its players have the means to take better care of retired players injured by the game, as is done in baseball. Owners and players need to decide its critical.

  6. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Amar – Don’t see any connection between the government taking care of those who served and a wealthy private company (NFL) working with its employees assocation to provide better benefits.


    Nicely said, WD40. $1100 is more than what the government will probably give me as a disabled vet.


    “probably” being the key word.

    Nice assumption. Oh and Government support for disabled vets and the NFL’s support for former athletes are not mutually exclusive. I’m sure Joe, all of JBF-Nation and the rest of the people of the USA would support the Government taking care of veterans better.

  8. RastaMon Says:

    my last recollection of Keith McCants he was riding a exercise bike under the tent @ Pigeon Poop Stadium…say whatever happened to Broderick…his bookend LB/DE

  9. jlynch Says:

    He probably smokes$1100 in rock cocaine a day. He was arrested stopping traffic with some crack whore not long ago he has money for crack and hookers??? Really? Dont feel sorry for him feel sorry for the taxpayers that pay for public defenders and keeping a roof over his headwhile he is locked up…

  10. fanofkit Says:

    I hate to sound like a souless black hearted pit of a human, but have any of you looked at a 40 year old career roofer? Their knees are shot, their hands mangled, their backs warped and every joint aches. Years of toting tiles up and down ladders, endless repetive and tramatic injuries, wicked heat, scalding tar that scars and torments the body- not to mention a lifetime of sun exposure absorbed on a weekly basis. These are strong healthy young men who can become twisted mangled shells within years- all for a modest living. no free college ride, no pension- just pain. The same can be said of so many manual laborers. Yes, it is sad to see men suffer- whatever the career. But having watched my father work on broken feet to provide for his family, gutting out a lifetime of injuries and pain so his small business could succeed- knowing a long life of agony awaited him after this service, I have limited capacity for pitying ex-NFLers. Especially when one considers that it is a great many of the average men who labor and suffer in absolute annonimity – spending a sometimes sizeable portion of their hard earned money- that make the NFL and their players such a financial success….

    Anyways, thats how I feel.

  11. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    I’m not trying to give him a pass for anything he has done (or will do). However, the one thing to not forget is that he does have dementia. If any of you have ever had a family member with this disease, you know how terrible it can be and what it does to your mind. I find it awful scary that someone as young as McCants would have this disease. Obviously he got this disease playing football, so I agree 110% with Joe in that the NFL should do more to help guys like him.

  12. Nano Says:

    One word Bum!! I’ve been down and out would never steal. Got back on my feet. Don’t feel sorry at all.

  13. Miguel Grande Says:

    Lou Gehrig’s Disease has recently been attributed to concussion type injuries. I know that I was in a traffic accident where I received a concussion and was beat up pretty bad. Nothing to be hospitalized for but I believe it took a couple years to completely recover from. These guys go through a traffic accident every Sunday for 20 consecutive weeks and on Monday they are asked to strap on a helmet and do it all again. All for excitement and the spectacle of the coliseum . I believe money should be set aside to take care of our fallen gladiators who have given us much excitement and pleasure. Less money should be given to the DaMarcus Russell’s and other unproven rookies.