Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 4/15/12

Warren Sapp opened up about the financial problems he’s facing and told the Tampa Bay Times in a recent interview that he opted for bankruptcy over jail.

“Do you think I wanted to declare bankruptcy? Do you think if there was any other way possible I would have done it? It was either this or go to jail. Those were my choices,” Sapp said.

Sapp told the paper he grossed about $60 million during his playing days, but things began going badly in 2005 with real estate deals gone wrong. He was working on a low-income housing project and he says construction began on three houses before buyers had been approved for the mortgages, which is not the way he wanted to order things. The houses went unsold and he ended up owing $1 million to his partners. He says 100% of his lofty wages from NFL Network were garnished for 11 months to pay the debts, leaving him with more debts because he was unable to pay his bills.

Sapp also said most of his enormous 240 pair shoe collection was given to him by Nike, and he laughed off his lion and zebra rugs, as well the painting of nude women in his bedroom.

It’s really tough to feel badly for Sapp, who admitted he was a little embarrassed by the bankruptcy filing. Even if he owed $1 million because of failed real estate deals, the guy earned easily over $30 million after taxes. That shouldn’t be enough money to put him in debt. Clearly the extent of his financial issues went well beyond that one bad deal.

Now that the two are in the same financial position, I think the only solution is to have Sapp and Jose Canseco fight with the pot going to the winner. Tell me that wouldn’t be the dirtiest fight ever.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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