Some NFL players have unfathomable wealth, the type of fortune that will allow their lineage to live comfortably for generations.
D.J. Foster is not yet at that point.
The Cardinals’ running back went undrafted a season ago and received a reported $5,000 signing bonus to join the Patriots. He spent most of last year on New England’s active roster and has done the same with the Cardinals this season, so he is building up a nice nest egg for himself, but he’s not exactly filthy rich.
“Some people forget that,” Foster said. “They see you in the NFL, and the more years (you play) you have time to make some money, but at first, you’re coming into the league and it’s not what people think. People think you get that roster (spot and you become wealthy), but those game checks are what’s important. It definitely took a little time.”
Foster is getting more financially comfortable by the week, but you’d never know it by the way he arrives at the team’s practice facility. Foster does so in a Chevy Cruze, a compact car his mom bought for him when he was in college at nearby Arizona State.
“It’s definitely funny pulling into the parking lot sometimes, and you’ve got a Range Rover, you’ve got a BMW on this side, and I’m squeaking in between them pulling up,” Foster said. “But I love it. I rock it. For me, sometimes a car is just transportation, a way to get from ‘A’ to ‘B.’ And it runs good.”
The car had 50,000 miles on it when Foster got it, and it’s at 70,000 miles now. He said a few teammates have cracked some good-natured jokes, but “I whip my thing.”
An upgrade is coming soon -- possibly. Foster said he’s indecisive when it comes to making a vehicle purchase.
“One of these days I’ll pull the trigger,” Foster said. “Every other week there’s a new car that I want. I think maybe this offseason I’ll get a car.”
One thing is for sure: Foster is in no hurry to rush out and buy a Maserati of every color in the Crayon box. He’s living comfortably right now, but for undrafted guys, the future is hardly guaranteed.
So he saves his game checks and rolls to work in the Cruze.
“I’ve always been like that with my money,” Foster said. “My mom used to joke. I’d get birthday and Christmas money growing up, and I would put it in the bank. You don’t see many kids do that, but I’ve always been like that. I save my money, and if I need something, I have the money to go and get it if I want it. I don’t need too much.”