|What looks like a '91 Mazda to the casual observer is a Bentley in Morris' eyes. (Redskins.com)|
Make fun of Redskins rookie running back Alfred Morris all you want for his choice in vintage economy automobiles. But the NFL scrap heap is littered with players who didn't consider the long-term financial ramifications of careers that last an average of four years (Terrell Owens and Vince Young immediately come to mind). And while Morris, a sixth-round pick out of Florida Atlantic, has his future in front of him, nothing's guaranteed in a sport in which oversized grown men make their living running full speed into each other.
Morris signed a four-year, $2.2 million contract this summer, of which only his $123,000 signing bonus is guaranteed. He also gets a weekly game check for nearly $23,000. But instead of dropping a substantial part of his relatively meager earnings on a car that he doesn't need, Morris is keeping it real. Real old, and real affordable. That's right: he's rolling in a 1991 Mazda 626 sedan. Or, as it's known around Redskins Park, "the Bentley."
“It has some sentimental value to it now,” Morris told the team website on Wednesday. “It just keeps me grounded, where I came from and all the hard work for me to get to this point. So that's what helps me.”
The running back said he didn't have a car in college. He wasn't about to turn down the Bentley, even if it first rolled off the lot when he was 3 years old.
“I could've been like, ‘Ah, I don't want this piece of crap,'” he said. “But I always wanted a car, and it was what I got.”
Making matters more tenuous: the Mazda is a stick-shift. When Morris first got the car, he couldn't drive it.
“I had to teach myself," he admitted. “I'd be stalling at lights and stuff and just sitting there trying to get it started back up. And I'd be like, ‘I have emergency lights on. Why would you get behind me? You see the lights -- go around.'”
The Kelley Blue Book value for Morris' ride? Nobody knows because the earliest model listed is a '92 626, and that's worth $1,160. But, hey, like our dad told us when he gifted us the family truckster in high school, "It's free, and it gets you from point A to point B? Then quit your bellyaching."
Morris said he has no plans to get rid of the car anytime soon. “One day, my kids are going to drive that car,” he said laughing. “If it breaks down, I'm gettin' it fixed. That's just how I am.”
In the meantime, he can earn some pocket change by selling "Hail to the Fredskins" t-shirts out of his trunk.
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