How The Cheesecake Factory Ruined This Ex-NFL Quarterback's Finances

Star athletes mismanaging their money and filing for bankruptcy despite once earning millions of dollars per year happens more often than you might expect. When the cash is flowing like a volcano and there doesn't seem to be any end in sight, some can get reckless and careless — especially when that athlete didn't grow up rich.

ESPN's documentary series "30 for 30" produced a film about pro athletes making poor financial decisions, aptly titled "Broke." A 2009 Sports Illustrated article that evaluated the epidemic of bankrupt professional sports players found that within two years of retirement, 78% of former NFL players had gone bankrupt or were in dire financial straits, while 60% of NBA players were broke within five years of retirement.

Sometimes the reason is a string of bad investments in franchises or projects that were doomed from the start; other times it's trusting the wrong people. For former Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young, his weakness was a well-intentioned if misguided generosity to frequently cover exorbitant dinner bills, particularly at The Cheesecake Factory.

A weakness for Cheesecake (Factory)

After Vince Young lead his team to a thrilling 41-38 victory over USC in the waning seconds of the 2005 National Championship, Young's future seemed secure. Selected third overall in the 2006 NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans, he inked a five-year rookie contract worth a guaranteed $25.7 million. Even if he never earned another penny in his lifetime, Young should have been set as long as he invested wisely and made even moderately sensible financial decisions.

But that ended up not being the case. Young had a propensity to treat his teammates (sometimes seven or eight at a time) at chain restaurants, racking up enormous bills, according to Mental Floss. His favorite dining venue was apparently The Cheesecake Factory, where he routinely amassed $5,000 in weekly tabs. It takes a lot of cheesecake (and food in general) to fill up a 315-pound offensive lineman, and Young wanted to treat the men who protected his blind side from other 300-pound behemoths.

By 2012, his habits had caught up to him and he ended up, well, broke (via Yahoo News). Young filed a lawsuit contending that his agents committed fraud and stole $5.5 million of his money. His career, though, was effectively over. He played his last NFL game in 2011.