He won't be catching passes from Johnny Manziel after his season-long ban for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, but Josh Gordon has a backup plan to stay employed while he isn't playing football: Gordon is going to sell cars.
While trying to convince customers to spend their money on a new Chevy Impala might not be as exciting as running out onto the field to play in front of countless fans, at least the wide receiver will be using his time constructively, and he'll be revisiting a time-honored tradition of professional athletes looking for different streams of revenue when they aren't playing the sport as their full-time job.
Even though the four-year, $5.3 million dollar contract he signed in 2012 isn't massive compared to some of the guys he lines up against, players didn't always make the kind of contract money and endorsement deals they do today, so off-season gigs were necessary for even some of the greatest players ever.
Jim Brown: Soda Marketing Rep
It's hard to believe that the man considered not just the greatest football player ever, but one of the greatest American athletes (he excelled at track and lacrosse as well), who also made $85,000 a year towards the end of his career (far more than most football players in the 1960s), worked in the off-season as a marketing representative for Pepsi.
Richie Hebner: Gravedigger
He cranked out over 200 home runs, and also won the World Series with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1971, but the third basemen spent the off-season digging graves with a pick and a shovel in a family-owned cemetery in Massachusetts throughout his career.
Moe Berg: Spy
One of the most fascinating baseball careers ever belongs to former MLB journeyman catcher Moe Berg, who not only graduated from Princeton University and Columbia Law School, and spoke several different languages, but was also a spy for the US during the Second World War, evaluating resistance groups fighting the Nazis in Eastern Europe.
Sean Avery: Vogue Intern
There are those of us that miss the aggravating winger, and those of us that don't. And while he's found post-hockey work with an advertising agency, Avery spent a summer between playing for the New York Rangers not practicing on the ice, but interning for Anna Wintour and her editors.
Wilt Chamberlain: Bellhop
Before he was putting up 100-point games and even more impressive numbers in the bedroom, the most dominating center carried bags for guests at the Kutcher's, the popular Catskill resort famous for hosting comedians Alan King, Woody Allen, and Lenny Bruce.