Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson says he saved 83% of NFL earnings by wearing fake jewelry, flying commercial

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson says he saved 83% of NFL earnings by wearing fake jewelry, flying commercial

Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson earned close to $50 million during his NFL career, and chances are he had a good chunk of it when he hung up his cleats.

The former Cincinnati Bengal said he regularly bought fake jewelry and took commercial flights to save money while in the NFL.

Chad Ochocinco of the Cincinnati Bengals on the bench during a game against the New York Jets on November 25, 2010 at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ (Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images)

“Flying privately? I don’t fly privately,” he said on Shannon Sharpe’s “Club Shay Shay” podcast. “Put me on Spirit. Get out of the row. Window seat. That’s all I need. As long as I get from point A to point B. I don’t need private.”

Ochocinco was widely considered one of the best receivers in the game when playing. His superb game combined with his antics have made him a household name.

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That’s why he was never caught up in excessive purchases.

“If you can get to a point in your career where your name becomes bigger than anything you can buy, there’s your worth,” Johnson said.

Chad Ochocinco of the Cincinnati Bengals during a game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

“I never bought anything real when I was playing. Ever. What was it for? I went to Claire’s. For what? Why am I doing this? The other women, who really do their homework, have Googled how much you were already earning Why am I buying a $50,000 watch, an $80,000 watch?

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“Everybody gets caught up in the picture and looks a certain way and is rich. It’s me. It’s pointless,” he added. “Do you know how hard it is to live like this all the time, constantly, and fly every day?”

In total, he estimates that he saved 83% of his income through his thrifty spending.

Johnson is well known for giving four-figure tips for a quick meal at drive-thru restaurants.

Chad Johnson discusses “Warriors of Liberty City” with the Build Series at Build Studio on September 4, 2018 in New York City. (Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

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Johnson caught 766 passes for 11,059 yards and 67 touchdowns during his career with Cincy and the New England Patriots.

He made six Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams, both first team.

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