Domonique Foxworth Finds the Money

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Domonique Foxworth Finds the Money

You can't ever fault a man for wanting to get paid.

We all scour the job market, searching for that perfect job; the job that will provide security and hopefully set our family for life.

Former Atlanta Falcons cornerback Domonique Foxworth has found that.

On Friday, the first day of free agency, Foxworth signed a four-year, $28 million deal, with $16.5 million guaranteed, with the Baltimore Ravens, his hometown team.

And with the click of a purple-and-black pen, Foxworth and his family will never have to think about finances again.

Fans sometimes bemoan professional athletes for the money they make, but can you blame them?

If the market for your local auto mechanic dictates that he can make $7 million a year by moving across town and work for the competing auto body shop, would you fault him for doing that? There will never be a market like that for a mechanic, but there is for professional athletes and they're simply accepting an offer that a team is willing to pay.

Foxworth's case is not unlike many professional athletes, but his motives are not strictly fueled by greed, as some might say.

In A Few Seconds of Panic, a recent book by journalist Stefan Fatsis, in which the writer is embedded with the Denver Broncos and participates in training camp as a rookie kicker, Foxworth, then with the Broncos, is described as an intelligent player who recognizes the opportunity before him.

The opportunity to make money, of course, is there, but he also believes that the sport of football is entertainment, and should be taken as such. But entertainers sometimes do stupid things as do the everyday Joe's of the world, but with a lot less media coverage.

And that is what Foxworth is trying to change. He views football as a tool to allow him to influence the lives of others and to change the dumb jock stereotype.

"Whenever I do an interview, I go out of my way to try to use big words. It sounds stupid. But I'm educated and I want people to know that. And I want to come across as such: I'm not what you think."

Sure, don't we all? But Foxworth puts his words into action. As a rookie, the Denver Post approached him to write a weekly journal, which he did. The newspaper offered a reporter to interview him and write the entries on his behalf, but he refused, wanting to do it himself. His articles were collected and published in the short book On the Island.

He didn't follow the path of resistance that many players are said to overcome. Instead, he grew up in a middle-class suburb of Baltimore, the son of a mother and father that owned a consulting business.

A top high-school prospect, he chose to market himself on his own, creating a do-it-yourself brochure showcasing his attributes and wound up at the University of Maryland where he performed admirably not just on the field, but in the classroom as well.

The four-year veteran cornerback said in 2006 "all you need is five million dollars and you could live your life forever as long as you put it in the right place, you don't buy a Bentley--a Bentley and four cribs."

He described players as the "janitors of the NFL," which may be hyperbole, but seems to clarify his thought process when it comes to the business of professional football and the quickness with which a team will separate itself from a player.

Foxy, as his teammates call him, wanted to get what he could from the game while he still could. You can't help but wonder how often he thinks about former teammate Darrent Williams as he considers this mantra.

A fellow cornerback with the Broncos, Williams was killed in a drive-by shooting on New Year's Day in 2007. It was in Williams' memory that Foxworth dedicated so much of his time and energy to the Darrent Williams Memorial Teen Center. It was there that he was able to cope with the loss of a teammate and friend and also do some good.

And doing good is what Foxy desires (and a nice paycheck helps) and as the story of Darrent Williams can attest, you never know when it will all be taken from you.

Foxworth returned home on Friday and with his infectious smile said, "I've dreamed of playing here."

While Foxy may not share it publicly, he probably breathed a sigh of relief. It's rumored that he turned down a few more dollars from some other teams to return to Baltimore and play for the Ravens. Sometimes it's worth it to go back home.

And to go back home and hopefully make a positive impact in your hometown's community is even sweeter. Share the wealth, as the saying goes.

In 2006 all he wanted was $5 million and today he got $16.5 million, and some peace of mind.

You can expect him to do some good with it.

This article originally appeared on the Atlanta Falcons Examiner page. To view, go here

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