Clinton Portis’ net worth is an estimated $5 million in debt. Once the highest-paid running back in NFL history, Portis declared bankruptcy in 2015. In December 2019, he was charged in an alleged health care fraud scheme by the Department of Justice, along with nine other retired NFL players.
Portis’ financial losses are a reported combination between extravagant spending and bad financial investments, he has told publications. His former financial advisor has since been banned from securities trading, after encouraging many former NFL players (including Portis) to invest in what turned out to be a Ponzi Scheme.
Here’s what you need to know about Portis’ net worth:
1. In 2004, Portis Became the Highest-Paid Running Back in NFL History With an Eight-Year, $50 Million Deal With the Redskins
In 2004, Portis was traded from the Denver Broncos to the Washington Redskins for a jaw-dropping, record deal: an eight-year, $50.5 million contract that included $17 million in combined signing and option bonuses, in exchange for cornerback Champ Bailey and a second-round draft pick.
Portis was 22 years old at the time.
For a number of years, Portis exhibited extravagant spending, and shared the details of this spending on shows like MTV’s Cribs, and NFL’s Total Access.
In the video above, Portis shows off the various waterfalls, fish ponds, fish tanks, and more in his house. According to ESPN, by the time he retired in 2012, Portis had earned a cumulative $43.1 million over the course of his NFL career.
2. Portis Filed for Bankruptcy in 2015, & Owed an Estimated $5 Million
In 2012, Portis confirmed his retirement from NFL at the young age of 30 years old. At the time, he said at a presser, “I really wasn’t expecting to get emotional…it’s the closing of a chapter in my life.” Three years from that moment, he would file for bankruptcy.
Later, in 2017, Portis would reveal that he had spent most of his money by the time he retired. In a Where Are They Now profile of Portis in Sports Illustrated, the former running back explained how he believed he trusted the wrong people to help him make financial decisions, and this led to his downfall.
He said to journalist Brian Burnsed, “They come impressive. The complication begins because you don’t understand it. You don’t know what they’re saying, but you just get involved.”
Per Sports Illustrated, Portis’ former financial advisor, Jinesh Brahmbhatt, would later be accused of a number of illegal actions, including convincing Portis and other NFL players to invest in what turned out to be a Ponzi Scheme. Brahmbhatt and others were eventually banned from securities trading by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, but they received no jail time for their wrongdoing.
According to court documents acquired by Sports Illustrated, Portis’ $5 million debt included the following: $412,000 owed in child support to four different women, $390,000 owed to the IRS, $287,000 owed to an MGM Grand casino he’d invested in, $500,000 to his own mother, and more.
However, the $500,000 owed to his mother isn’t as simple as it sounds. Portis clarified to the publication that this money was actually related to a house he bought his mother, and that one of his former financial advisors took a loan out on this house without telling him. This made his mother one of his largest creditors, he explained, adding, “I owe my mom everything.”
3. Portis Told Sports Illustrated He ‘Contemplated’ Murdering One of His Former Money Managers
To Sports Illustrated in 2017, Portis revealed that he came close to killing his former money managers in 2013, often driving to the D.C. building where they worked and sitting in his car with a gun. These managers had managed, and then pilfered (according to Portis), a majority of his over-$40 million net worth.
“It wasn’t no beat up,” Portis said to the publication. “It was kill.”
The former running back said he was furious that these managers were going to get away scot free after taking his fortune from him. He even said that he wished he had spent more of his fortune himself, rather than see it disappear through bad deals and money schemes. Though those managers, including Brahmbhatt, were stripped of their right to work in the financial industry, Portis was furious they didn’t receive any jail time for their wrongdoings. “No jail time, no nothing,” he fumed. “Living happily ever after.”
Portis said that the only thing that stopped him from committing murder was a friend who convinced him it wouldn’t be worth it. He said his friend told him, “You’ve already lost, but the loss you would sustain [by killing someone] would be greater.”
4. Portis’ Friends Have Described His Spending as ‘on Another Level’
A former Redskins teammate of Portis, Santana Moss, spoke to Sports Illustrated about Portis’ apparent extravagant spending. Moss, who personally owned ten cars at one point, said, “Portis was on a different level. He didn’t think about tomorrow.”
However, not all of Portis’ expenses were for material items. Per the publication, he also built a house for his grandparents, arranged large neighborhood picnics in Virginia and Florida for anyone who needed a free meal, and bought his mother a car and a house.
Portis also explained why he felt the need to spend so extravagantly: after the murder of his friend and teammate, Sean Taylor, he felt “empty.”
5. Portis Is One of 10 Former NFL Players Charged in an Alleged Health Care Fraud Scheme for Retired NFL Players
The Department of Justice charged 10 former NFL players in an alleged fraud scheme on Dec. 12, 2019; Portis was one of those ten.
In the press release, Portis and others are accused of taking advantage of a health care benefit program for retired NFL players. Portis specifically is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and health care fraud, one count of wire fraud, and one count of health care fraud.
U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan Jr. said in the press release, “The defendants allegedly submitted false claims to the plan and obtained money for expensive medical equipment that was never purchased or received, depriving that plan of valuable resources to help others meet their medical needs. We have prioritized the investigation and prosecution of health care fraud in our office, and we appreciate the partnership we share with the Criminal Division and the FBI in pursuing these important matters.”
Portis has not yet given a public statement on the charges.