Veteran QB Mark Brunell emerges from bankruptcy

Former Jaguars quarterback lost millions on investments that went bad

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As his 18-year NFL career comes to a close, Mark Brunell's Chapter 11 bankruptcy case came to an end Monday, the Fiancial News and Daily Record reported.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jerry Funk confirmed Brunnell's reorganization plan, which acknowledges that the former Jacksonville quarterback's income will drop sharply when he retires from the New York Jets, which is expected at the end of this season.

According to court documents, Brunell is making a total of $960,000 in salary and bonuses this season from the Jets, where he is a backup quarterback.

While the plan to reorganize his debts acknowledges that Brunell's income will drop sharply once he stops playing football, it calls him to pay $350,000 to unsecured creditors to settle their claims. He intends to sell some assets to pay off those creditors.

Those documents also say Brunnell and his family plan to return to their Ponte Vedra Beach home after his retirement. He may take a job as a sales representative for a medical device distributor, the documents said.

Brunell, 41, played nine years with the Jaguars, from the inaugural season until 2003. He has also played for the Green Bay Packers, Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints. He joined the Jets as a backup quarterback, earning $1.5 million for that season.

Brunell filed for Chapter 11 in June 2010, citing losses from failed investments made with earnings from his football career. He listed assets of $5.5 million and liabilities of $24.7 million in the initial filing.

According to the disclosure statement obtained from the court by the Daily Record, the bad investments included real estate and several Whataburger franchises.

At Monday's hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Jacksonville, one of Brunell's attorneys, Jacob Brown of Akerman Senterfitt, said he was forced into bankruptcy because of losses incurred when the real estate market collapsed.

Brunell did attend Monday's court proceedings and has declined to comment on the case after the hearing.  He did offer his thoughts on recent Jaguars news to the Daily Record, including the announcement last week that majority owner Wayne Weaver is selling the team.

"It's a new beginning for the Jaguars and I can't speak highly enough of Mr. Weaver," Brunell said, citing Weaver's involvement in the community beyond owning the team.

"The Jacksonville community is better for it," he told the newspaper.

Brunell only one season playing for Jack Del Rio in 2003, who drafted Byron Leftwich to succeed Brunell at quarterback.

The exact end of Brunell's career depends on when the Jets' season ends. The team currently has a 7-5 record and is in contention for a playoff berth.

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