Though he has the NFL's best-selling jersey since April and is projected to earn $31.5 million from his rookie deal, Giants running back Saquon Barkley said he is going to try to spend like Marshawn Lynch and live solely on endorsement deals.
"Once I realized when I declared for the NFL draft and kind of realized where I was going to be drafted," Barkley said on Thursday, according to ESPN's Jordan Raanan, "that was something I was like, 'You know what? Kind of want to follow the Marshawn Lynch method. I don't want to touch that. I want to invest it, put it in the right peoples' hands and learn as I continue to make investments. And just live off the endorsement deals.' "
Lynch has earned more than $52 million from NFL contracts, according to Spotrac, but NFL Network's Ian Rapaport said two years ago that the current Raiders running back "hasn't spent a dime of his actual playing money ... ever," instead spending money from his endorsement deals with Nike, Pepsi and Skittles, among other companies.
Though Lynch admitted that wasn't completely true -- "I'm very much human," he told "60 Minutes" two years ago --that method is what the 21-year-old Barkley will apply. He has endorsement deals with Nike, Pepsi and Panini America, according to Raanan, and is signed with Roc Nation Sports.
Among the first purchases Barkley made since being the No. 2 pick in the NFL draft was buying his family a house, which he told Raanan was "probably the best accomplishment I have so far.
"Obviously it's special," Barkley said. "I just hope I can set an example for future athletes and other athletes that, planning on doing something like that, I was able to do that without signing my contract. ... That just shows that so far I've been making a lot of right decisions and surrounding myself with a great team. They have been able to help me a lot. I have to give a lot of credit."