Shannon Sharpe Says Adrian Peterson Blew ‘Millions’ Of $100M NFL Fortune On Lavish Birthday Party With Camels, Snake Charmers, Belly Dancers and First Class Travel For 300 Guests

Adrian Peterson‘s financial woes and the drama surrounding his recent estate sale, has brought the subject of financial health for pro athletes back to the forefront. 

Despite a heightened awareness for athletes and more resources offered when it comes to financial literacy and wisely managing their fortunes, there are still stories of bags being blown. 

Is Adrian Peterson Broke?

Peterson made $103.2 million during his NFL career and remains the highest earning running back in NFL history by a wide margin. 49ers star Christian McCaffrey is a distant second all-time with $77.6 million in career earnings.

In 2015, Shannon Sharpe says former NFL star Adrian Peterson threw a birthday party for himself that cost millions and featured a camel that he rode, snake charmers, Belly dancers, first class travel and housing for 300 guests.  (YouTube/Nightcap)

Eyebrows were raised when a slew of Peterson’s belongings, including trophies and signed memorabilia, went up for online auction, it was a clear sign, most assumed, that his financial situation had worsened.

But Peterson posted a video on social media disputing that he was in financial troubles and that he wouldn’t sell his “hard-earned trophies.”

Nightcap With Unc and Ocho: AP, Athletes and Financial Literacy 

Shannon Sharpe and Chad Ochocinco on “Nightcap With Unc and Ocho,” a nightly podcast, address the story and Sharpe doesn’t believe the NFL legend, who is reportedly still trying to get another pro contract one month from his 39th birthday. 

Sharpe and Ocho are both examples of former players who were able to comfortably transition from the field to other careers in media and entertainment, using the brand they developed in the NFL to create a life after football. They are also both very shrewd with their finances and often mentor younger players about the potential pitfalls that come with a windfall of wealth. 

Sharpe was very critical of AP, the debt he’s incurred and how he goes about balancing his finances. 

Sharpe isn’t buying AP’s story. 

Adrian Peterson Spent Millions On Lavish Birthday Party In 2015

Shannon recalled a 30th birthday party in 2015 that AP threw for himself that featured a camel that he rode, snake charmers, belly dancers, first class travel and housing for 300 guests. 

“He spent millions,” Sharpe said. 

Sharpe then spoke to the perils of trying to present a luxurious lifestyle in the public eye and keep raising the bar to show people you are still on top. 

“Do you realize that most of the time when athletes buy stuff it’s not for them it’s to impress people who watch them and see them,” Sharpe, who claims he made $350K every two weeks at one point in his NFL career, said. 

“This was a party for the guests to say look how much money AP got. Look at this birthday party. He needed 10 jumbo jets. So if you fly them first class. Who the hell is putting these people up (in hotels)? You!”

Ochocinco asked him: “Do you think this story is real or fabricated?”

Shannon Sharpe and Ochocinco Worth Nearly $35M Combined

Sharpe — whose net worth is listed at $15 million and rising due to his exploding brand, his daily presence on “First Take” and his “Uncle Shay Shay” interviews that put social media in a chokehold — read something from his computer and confirmed the accuracy and then expressed disbelief that AP did this in 2015 and turned around in 2016 and borrowed millions of dollars. 

“A Pennsylvania lending company loaned AP $5.2 million in 2016, AP planned to use most of the money to pay back other lenders,” Sharpe said. “They don’t know what he did with the loan but they do know he didn’t pay back the company he borrowed the money from.” 

He continued: “In 2021, a NY judge entered a judgment of $8.3 million against AP, stemming from unpaid loans. Court records indicate he hasn’t paid back yet, and instead has been ensnared in legal battles over an attempt to seize his property to collect on the judgment including items that have been kept in multiple storage units.”

This sheds some light on the current story and implies that those items AP claims he didn’t release were possibly seized to collect on his debts. 

Adrian Peterson Clearly Has Financial Problems 

Regardless of how broke or paid AP says he is, these actions reek of financial dysfunction. 

“I hate speaking on one’s misfortune,” Ochocinco said, admitting that Peterson is his good friend. “I think sometimes we get caught up in the image and lifestyle that the NFL provides us with … they are not thinking long- term.”

The co-hosts discussed how their money comes in fast when you hit the league and it can leave your bank account even quicker if you aren’t financially prudent.  

“That’s one of the things we miss out on … the small window that we have thinking that the money will always come in these big checks making $650K,” Johnson continued.  “You know what it’s like to have a $650K check every Monday?”  

Ochocinco, worth a reported $18 million, is known for his financial shrewdness. He says he learned the tricks of the trade around year 3 in the NFL. While he torched cornerbacks across the league and provided some of the classic TD celebrations of all-time, slow and steady wins the race became his motto with his life off the field. 

Chad Ochocinco Says Athletes Have To Learn To Just Say No

Being a bit selfish is also part of the deal. 

“Just the thought of it (financial health) hit me in year 3, with great understanding. I’m thinking long term. … You got to know when to say no to family, no to friends and those who weren’t there before you made it, because they never know when to turn it off. … And the more you enable them by always giving, they are going to keep coming back.”

“People that have followed me throughout my career and life in general, understand how financially conscious I am when it comes to spending. … My cheap, frugal ways was to not just lead by example but prevent situations like this.”

AP is clearly going through some things, but it’s also understandable why a man who would spend millions on others to throw a birthday party for himself, doesn’t want the public to know that he’s down on his luck or in dire straits financially. 

When he accepts his current state of affairs, Uncle Shay and Ochocinco will be there to advise him.

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