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Money Player
Kelly Whiteside
December 05, 1994
Defensive end Sean Jones is paying large dividends for the Packers—and his financial clients
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December 05, 1994

Money Player

Defensive end Sean Jones is paying large dividends for the Packers—and his financial clients

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Sean Jones, the right defensive end for the Green Bay Packers, has a business lunch sandwiched between a team meeting and an afternoon practice. Slumped on a leather couch in the players' lounge, with CNBC on the TV in front of him and a laptop computer and a portable fax on the end table nearby, Jones, who is also a stockbroker for Dean Witter in Beverly Hills, is on his cellular phone discussing a $100,000 investment with a client. Just then, the ghost of Vincent T. Lombardi walks into the room. " Jones, how I many times do I have to tell you? Only three things should matter to you: your religion, your family and the Green Bay Packers—in that order," says Lombardi. "Buy, sell or hold does not make the list."

It seems fitting to have the NFL's only Pro Bowl stockbroker playing for the NFL's only publicly-owned, not-for-profit franchise. In addition to working as a broker at Dean Witter, Jones owns DSJ & Associates, a company that manufactures NFL-licensed rugby shirts. He also runs a real estate company, Trinity Acquisition Group, which manages property in four states and Jamaica. As if all that were not enough, Jones is the host of a weekly TV show in Green Bay, Between the Lines with Sean Jones.

"Which one of these things do I do on the side?" Jones says. "I don't know. I never allowed myself to be just an athlete. You can have a passion for something without it becoming all-consuming."

For the past six years at Dean Witter, Jones has managed the accounts of about 150 clients, who range from his former L.A. Raider and Houston Oiler teammates to doctors, lawyers and actors. During the off-season Jones operates from his Beverly Hills office. Once the football season begins, he relics on his laptop computer to call up stock quotes or a client's portfolio. "Physically, he's here about four months a year, but mentally he's here all the time," says Jones's Dean Witter partner, George O'Brien.

Out of his pin-striped suit, Jones is, well, a money player. In April he signed a three-year, $7.8 million contract as a free agent, and through Sunday he was leading the Packers in sacks with 9�, tied for second best in the NFC. With 98 career sacks, Jones will soon become the eighth player in NFL history to have 100 or more sacks, and he and left end Reggie White—the best set of bookends in the game right now—have totaled 242 sacks in their careers.

Jones's days often seem to be 36 hours long. On a recent Tuesday, the Packers' off day, Jones flew to Houston to meet with one of his Dean Witter clients, and later that afternoon he secured a deal with JCPenney for his rugby-shirt company. By the time he arrived at Chicago's O'Hare airport, he had missed the last plane to Green Bay. Since practice on Wednesday was to begin at 7:45 a.m., Jones rented a limousine for the 210-mile trip and got home at 4:30 a.m.

After a full day of practice, Jones had his hair cut in the locker room, wrote what he calls his " Andy Rooney piece" for his TV show and took care of more business involving the JCPenney deal. Then he drove to WLUK's studio to tape the show. Jones's wife, Tina, who is eight months pregnant with their first child, met him at the studio and dropped off a change of clothes. "It's hard for me to see him," she said. "He always has 101 things going. He only sleeps three or four hours a night."

When the show was finished, Jones went to a seafood restaurant for his weekly dinner with a few of his teammates. Of course, he was late. "I hope you treat your business clients better than your friends," guard Harry Galbreath joked. After feasting on a steady stream of wisecracks, Jones left after 10 p.m., with his pillow as his next stop. "Tonight, I'm tired," he said.

Jones comes by his industriousness quite naturally. He was raised in Milk River, Jamaica, but when he was seven, his family moved to Montclair, N.J., so that his mother, Sylvia, could attend graduate school. Later she received her doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts, and she has taught in the Newark public school system for 25 years. His father, Walter, put himself through college at night and worked two jobs until retiring last year. By day Walter was a social worker in Essex County, and at night he was an orderly at Overbrook Hospital in Summit, N.J.

In high school, business was Scan's primary interest. He played football, basketball and lacrosse for Montclair Kimberley Academy prep school, but those activities simply passed the time. "I went to school with all these rich kids," says Jones. "They used to laugh when I said, 'I'm going to get a job where I control your money.' Like the saying goes, 'If you don't have money, control money.' "

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