Manziel could well afford to buy, having grown up with money before signing a four-year, $8.2 million contract with the Browns in 2015. But the average NFL player makes much less coming out of college.
Before Wyatt Teller emerged as an All-Pro guard for the Browns, he was just a fifth-round pick trying to make the team in Buffalo. After getting drafted out of Virginia Tech in 2018, he signed a four-year deal worth $2.7 million with a $250,000 signing bonus. He moved into an apartment in Hamburg, New York, about 10 minutes away from the practice facility in Orchard Park, and seemed poised to stick with the Bills, starting the season’s final seven games. Then, 10 days before the 2019 season started, he got traded to the Browns.
“I was living in Virginia at the time, and neither of us had ever been to Cleveland, so we had no idea where anything was,” said his wife, Carly, who had just started dating Teller at the time.
Added Teller, “I was so focused on learning the playbook, I didn’t have time to look for an apartment. She was like, ‘What can I do for you?’ So I punted it to her.”
Carly remembers calling the Browns’ offices and asking, “Where do people live in Cleveland, Ohio?” She quickly found him an apartment in Olmsted Falls, near the practice facility in Berea. Most of Teller’s neighbors were of retirement age.
“I think I could get in my truck and be in the facility in 10 minutes,” said Teller, who now lives with Carly in a house in Westlake.
“I still don’t hear the end of that,” Carly said. “I still hear about how we’re 20 minutes away now.”
The Tellers’ story is typical. Cleveland’s sports teams are (understandably) tight-lipped about their athletes’ housing situations, but renting is common, especially with the Browns and the Guardians, MLB’s youngest team. One source with the Guardians said Jose Ramirez might be the only player who owns a house in Cleveland. Manager Terry Francona, who is finishing up his 10th season with the club, famously rents an apartment two blocks from Progressive Field and either walks or rides a scooter to work. Most of the Guardians rent apartments near Crocker Park, with a few others either downtown or in Tremont. A lot of them choose to buy houses in Arizona to be closer to the Guardians’ Goodyear complex.
The NBA offers a little more security. Thompson bought his lakefront house in Bratenahl for $1.9 million in 2015 after signing a five-year extension. (The home, which was often featured on E!’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” was sold for $2.5 million shortly after it was listed.) Kevin Love …….