Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Getty 

Sports Illustrated’s Brian Burnsed published a lengthy profile of former Washington running back Clinton Portis today, which tells the story of Portis’s tumultuous post-NFL career life, and all the medical and financial ruin he has gone through to finally find steady ground. In his playing days, Portis lived a famously lavish life thanks to the record-breaking contract he signed with the Skins. He bragged about his fleet of cars, while also propping up a cadre of family members, but the good times didn’t last.

Portis entrusted financial advisors Jeff Rubin and Jinesh Brahmbhatt with managing his money, and according to a series of lawsuits Portis filed against them around in the years around his retirement in 2012, Rubin and Brahmbhatt hoodwinked Portis and siphoned the vast majority of his money. The two advisors were eventually banned from securities trading by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, but not after allegedly pushing Portis into bankruptcy.

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Only a few years after Portis was building houses for his mother and grandparents, he found himself owing money on car purchases, back taxes, gambling debts, and domestic support. The advisors he says ruined him escaped jail time and were unable to pay Portis back what they’d lost:

Fortune pilfered, Clinton Portis contemplated revenge under the veil of darkness. On a handful of late nights and early mornings in 2013 he lurked in his car near a Washington, D.C.–area office building, pistol at his side, and waited for one of several men who had managed a large chunk of the $43.1 million he earned with his 2,230 carries over nine NFL seasons.

[...]

Once his helplessness gave way to rage, Portis lusted for a confrontation. He would meet this betrayer not with pleas or demands, or even blows delivered by thick fists attached to thick forearms. Bullets, he thought, were his sole means of balancing the scale.

“It wasn’t no beat up,” Portis says. “It was kill.”

Portis says he was talked off the ledge by a producer he met while working on a reality show. She says she reminded Portis of his children and urged him to think about their future. He eventually forced himself to give up his gun to his mother, but was bluntly honest about how strongly he considered it:

Prepared as he was to commit murder, sacrificing his freedom and his name for revenge, he never found whom he was looking for. But what if he had caught a glimpse before coming to his senses? What if their paths had crossed, there in the darkness? Portis doesn’t hesitate: “We’d probably be doing this interview from prison.”

[Sports Illustrated]