Despite earning six figures at his full-time job as a running back for the New Orleans Saints, Edwin Baker chooses to spend his off months preparing for life after football – at a mortgage lending company.
Baker isn’t your typical pro athlete. He isn’t a household name and he isn’t a millionaire; he works with a financial advisor in preparation for life after football and he spends his summer months working for Detroit-based United Shore mortgage company.
"This past off-season, before the season was over, I just wanted to get my career started," Baker told the Detroit Free Press. "I started thinking outside the box and wondering what else is out there. Let's do something else, let's do something different.”
That something different was working in the HR department of United Shore.
"I jumped right in and did whatever the (mortgage) company asked me to do," he told the Freep. "I went and shadowed (account executives), I did interviews, learning the whole business as a whole and just growing pretty much."
And it isn’t the first time Baker has chosen to spend the offseason preparing for his eventual second career. According to his financial planner, Richard Griffin, chief executive officer of Rickstar Financial, Baker works each off-season.
"Every summer, Edwin has done something to prepare for life after football -- whether it's a small internship, whether he's shadowing someone,” Griffin told the Press. “This year he got a little more in depth with the United Shore mortgage company."
Griffin says Baker is aware of the realities of football; that most careers last less than four years and that properly preparing himself will help him thrive in post-football life.
After all, 78 percent of NFL players either go bankrupt or – to a much lesser extent -- commit suicide within two years of retirement, according to a 2009 article by ESPN.
And if his dedication to his future is any indication, Baker is doing whatever he can to avoid becoming part of that statistic.
While most of his teammates are enjoying the offseason with some well-deserved R&R, this pro spends his free months working in the mortgage industry.