National Football League (NFL) has seen many incredible athletes over the years. Many have gone to become successful even after retirement. However, it doesn't happen for everyone, and some former players' lives have spiraled downward after. And one such individual is Russell Erxleben.
The former NFL player started as a star quarterback in his hometown. His extraordinary talents saw him getting drafted first in NFL and enjoying a successful pro career. But, the athlete's luck only remained great on the football field. He was later found guilty of money laundering and securities fraud.
But how did one of the greatest NFL punters get involved in such legal troubles; let's find out in this biography.
Russell's Family Have Remained In The Shadows
The former pro footballer was born on January 13, 1957, in Seguin, Texas. He hasn't disclosed much about his family or siblings in the media. In addition, he might have done that to protect them from unnecessary media attention.
Russell Erxleben's father and mother have never made any media appearance. Still, both must have supported his sports passion from earlier.
The athlete was into sports from a young age and played basketball, football, baseball, and golf. However, he decided to prioritize football after reaching the NFL Punt, Pass, and Kick Competition's semi-finals. He was then determined to become an NFL player in the future.
Russell Erxleben excelled at basketball, baseball, golf, and football in his childhood. Photo Source: Social Media.
The young guy attended Seguin High School and became a starting quarterback. His kicking and punter style immediately set him different from other athletes on the team. It also made him one of the top prospects among college recruits.
Russell Erxleben Net Worth And Career
The sportsman's outstanding kicking ability saw him landing a scholarship offer with the University of Texas at Austin. He began his playing journey there and never looked back. So, Russell Erxleben's net worth is heavily influenced by his football career.
The Seguin native played as a place-kicker and punter for all of his college years with Texas Longhorns. He set the record for longest successful NCAA field goal, a 67-yard kick, in 1977. No one has broken that record as of now.
The place-kicker became an All-American punter three times in 1976, 1977, and 1978. Let's see his College Stats below:
After graduating, Russell became the most-looked-after nominee for NFL. New Orleans Saints selected him as the first pick of the 1979 NFL Draft. Furthermore, it came out as a shock as no other teams picked the kickers in the first round.
The professional football player played five seasons for the Saints. However, he couldn't retain the highest scores like his university. In addition, his direct involvement made Saints lose several matches. So, the team released him at the end of the 1983 season.
Erxleben came back to play for Detroit Lions in 1987 but left after a season. He ended his playing career with 280 punts, 11,381 yards, and 59 games.
Still, the sportsman was one of the highest-paid kickers in the league. For instance, Russell's salary was $110,000 from the Saints in his first season. Thus, Russell Erxleben's net worth must have been a notable figure during his NFL career.
How It All Came Crashing Down
After getting early retirement from NFL, the former pro footballer became jobless. He didn't want to work in a bank or hold an 8-to-5 job; instead, he turned to sales.
Russell began working as a currency investor and founded Austin Forex International in 1996. His company generated millions of dollars from trading in the highly unregulated market. However, the Internal Revenue Service investigators soon discovered the firm committing a massive Ponzi scheme. It closed down Austin Forex in September 1999.
Erxleben is one of the few former NFL players who have been convicted for multiple crimes. He pled guilty to multiple investment frauds and received seven years prison sentence in September 2000. He served jail time from 2000 to 2005 and was released early on supervision. In addition, he had to pay $28 million in restitution and a million dollars fine.
After coming out of prison, the former felon again returned to his old ways. He initially invested $75,000 to buy World War II bonds and sold them to others. He was again arrested on January 24, 2013, for an illegal investment scam of more than $2 million.
Here is a video of a news report about Russell Erxleben's Ponzi investment scam.
The former NFL kicker also received ninety months of the prison sentence. He was released on July 19, 2019, and has led a quiet life since then.
Russell Erxleben Is A Married Man
The UT Austin alumnus' life has seen many ups and downs. It is hard to see him as a family man, considering his messy lifestyle. However, he is married to his beautiful partner.
Russell Erxleben's wife, Kim Erxleben, aka Kim Dunn Erxleben, has to be the most patient person for dealing with his legal issues. She hasn't left his side despite her husband being constantly jailed.
The pair hasn't shared when they first met or began dating. Both have also not opened up about when they exchanged vows in the media. Still, the couple must have been married for several years.
Despite his frauds, crimes, and jail sentences, Russell Erxleben's wife, Kim Erxleben, has never left his side. Photo Source: Social Media.
Russell Erxleben's spouse, Kim, was nearly scammed by sales agent Jeffrey Weston. But she decided to take back her $225,000 instead of bonds from Weston. Moreover, Russell's wife, Kim, introduced him to Fred Gladle, responsible for his second downfall.
Nonetheless, the duo has been enjoying a simple life away from the media since Russell's release.
Is A Loving Father of Three Children
From his happy marital life, the former jailbird has welcomed three children. His son, Ryan Erxleben, was born on May 3, 1991, and grew up in Dallas.
Russell Erxleben's son, Ryan, has followed in his footsteps and played as a punter at Texas Tech University. He initially played defense before switching to be a punter. Furthermore, the former Saints player has coached his child, Ryan, and supported him from the beginning.
Russell Erxleben's son, Ryan Erxleben, was a punter at Texas Tech University. Photo Source: Social Media.
Russell Erxleben's daughters, Lauren Erxleben and Erin Erxleben, haven't appeared much in the spotlight. Still, both might have played sports in their academic years seeing as they grew up in such an athletic household.
The sportsperson's frauds and crimes must have undoubtedly affected his children. However, he seems to be very apologetic to them and is correcting his ways. Hopefully, we will never see him behind the bar anytime soon.
Trivia And Facts
- Russell was a prisoner number 04048-180 during his second prison sentence.
- He isn't active on social media.