Finding a real home tough for NFL players

Green Bay Packers receiver Samori Toure runs with the ball in a preseason game against the Chiefs on Aug. 25 in Kansas City, Mo. (AP file photo)

NEW YORK — New playbooks, teammates and coaches are the focus during the day. Buying air mattresses, scanning house listings and securing short-term leases are tasks to tackle the rest of the time.

Finding a home — on and off the field — can be an overwhelming chore for many NFL players. Especially in a topsy-turvy league where job security is far from guaranteed.

The team you’re playing for today might not be the one you’re playing for tomorrow. You’ll have to hand in your playbook — and your keys — and hit the road.

“Moving’s the worst, man,” New York Jets left guard Laken Tomlinson said.

Dealing with realtors, lawyers, mortgage brokers and closings in a new city is stressful enough. For NFL players, juggling the uncertainty of their job situation makes it even more nerve-wracking.

Detroit linebacker Alex Anzalone waits to run onto the field before the Lions' game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday in Minneapolis. (AP photo)

“It’s definitely about exhausting the connections you have because it’s obviously a life stressor, finding somewhere to live,” said Tomlinson, who was drafted by Detroit in 2015, traded to San Francisco two years later and signed with New York last March.

“As a young player, I believe that’s part of the distraction,” Tomlinson added. “You have to deal with that and then you have to come to work. So the sooner you can handle stuff like that, the better.”

Once a player finds a place to live, filling it with furniture can take some time.

“All I have is really like a chair, an air mattress and all my stuff,” said Green Bay wide receiver Samori Toure, a rookie seventh-round pick from Nebraska. “It’s a nice air mattress.”

Finding a teammate to help share costs generally isn’t a particularly popular play.

“Grown men don’t want to have roommates like they’re still in college,” said Detroit defensive back A.J. Parker, who’s on the Lions’ practice squad.

Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone rents a town house — in which he, his wife Lindsey and their son Cooper live — that’s a 20-minute drive from the team’s facility.

“We travel as a pack,” Anzalone said. “Some people do the long-distance thing. My son is 19 months old, so he’s changing every week and I don’t want to miss it.”


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