Amid a sea of big-rimmed Escalades and decked-out BMWs, the NFL’s leading rookie rusher rolls into Redskins Park on 14s.
Alfred Morris, the sixth-round draft pick who was anointed the Washington Redskins surprise starter and is currently tied for first in the NFC in rushing touchdowns, is still driving his 1991 Mazda 626 to work.
It’s got all the amenities: cloth seats, power steering, tape deck, AM and FM radio and has the added bonus of being made the same year the Redskins last won a Super Bowl.
“It has some sentimental value to it now,” Morris told The Redskins Blog. “It just keeps me grounded, where I came from and all the hard work for me to get to this point. So that’s what helps me.”
Where he comes from is Florida Atlantic and a senior season that saw the team go 1-11. Scouts figured he’d catch on with a team as a third or fourth running back, if he caught on at all. But he caught the attention of running-back whisperer Mike Shanahan, earned a starting job with his elusive power game and kept it with solid performances in Washington’s first two games.
And still, he keeps that ’91 Mazda.
Even the lowest-paid NFL players, like Morris, make good money, though it’s a pittance compared to some teammates. Morris will make $390,000 in the first of his four-year, $2.22 million deal with the Redskins. He also received a $154,000 signing bonus. Figuring that he’s received two game checks and the bonus, then taking out for taxes and a cut for his agent, our conservative estimate is that Morris has netted $90,000 during his time in Washington.
That’s easily enough to put a down payment on an S-Class. He’ll buy a new car one day, he told The Redskins Blog, but not yet.
It says so much about the spending culture in sports that it’s surprising when a young man doesn’t buy something simply because he can.
Thanks, Mr. Irrelevant