Welcome in to another edition of ‘Where are they now?’ in which we look back at some past Denver Broncos who left a lasting impact on the franchise but perhaps are not as widely remembered by fans as Ring-of-Honor type legends
In this edition, we’ll check in on former defensive back Ray Crockett, who spent time with the Broncos from 1994-2000.
Drafted in the fourth round of the 1989 NFL Draft out of Baylor University, it didn’t take long for Crockett to establish his footprint on the league.
As a rookie for the Lions, Crockett played in all 16 games, recording an interception to go along with 46 tackles and would only elevate his game from there. In his five seasons in Detroit, he recorded 16 interceptions, six forced fumbles, and 343 tackles. He would be named to his one and only All-Pro team in 1991 with the Lions.
In 1994, Crockett joined the Denver Broncos, a team he would spend seven seasons (the majority of his NFL career) with and experience the most postseason success.
He started in every game he played for the Broncos with the exception of two in his final year with the team, recording 17 interceptions, seven forced fumbles, and 437 tackles. Regarded as a ballhawk in coverage, he would be a vital asset to the Broncos during their late 90s Super Bowl runs.
He recorded a sack, an interception, and 11 tackles in the 1997 playoffs up to the Super Bowl, and four tackles during the 1998 run. Perhaps his best game, or most memorable, came early in 1998 when he picked off Raiders QB Jeff George (man, has that guy’s name been remembered for the wrong reasons) twice for 105 yards and a touchdown.
He would leave Denver after the 2000 season and play his final two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs before retiring.
He was honored by both the Lions and Broncos, being named to each’s 50th anniversary team.
What has Ray Crockett been up to?
Crockett has kept busy following his playing days and has dipped his toes into several different ventures.
He starred in a documentary series from ESPN called Bound for Glory in 2005, in which he and fellow NFL legend Dick Butkus were tasked with turning around a high school football team. The show was not well reviewed, however, lasting one season and with Butkus leaving before the season was over.
He was also shown in an episode of an NBC game show called Identity, in which contestant, through a series of questions and hints, had to identify the guest.
Continuing the trend of being seen on screen, he additionally appeared in a documentary series created by Morgan Spurlock (of Super Size Me fame) called 30 Days. In the series, people would spend 30 days doing a job or living a lifestyle with which they are unfamiliar and/or uncomfortable. Crockett spent 30 days in a wheelchair, which he was inspired to do after witnessing former Lions’ teammate Mike Utley become paralyzed by injury in 1991.
He also enjoys spending time on social media speaking on life and sports, and is not shy from talking about his former Broncos, or offseason “controversies” surrounding the team.
I don’t know why people are upset at Sean Payton! HE TOLD NO LIES! I said the same thing a number of times. Hackett SUCKED as a Head Coach! DEAL WITH IT SIR!— Ray Crockett (@SlickPickSix39) July 31, 2023
When not on screen, he is working as a financial adviser to help benefit today’s athletes with wealth management, something he wishes was around when he played.
He serves as Vice President of Operations for a branch of Engineered Advisory, and wants to pass on what he has learned to athlete’s of today (think Dwayne Johnson’s character from Ballers but with hopefully less partying).
“When I was playing, tax was a five-minute conversation...no planning,” he said back in 2021. “In fact, we had a fear of taxes. You know, two things you can’t dodge—death and taxes. We didn’t know how to use our tax dollars. Now you have young players with tax bills of $10, $20 million a year—legacy money—and now we’re noticing that some of the wealthiest people in the country aren’t paying the kind of tax bills that we are. Why is that? Why can’t players be able to minimize their taxes too? Why can’t NFL players get the same kind of tax treatment as Fortune 500 CEOs? Athletes should be made aware of these options. My job is to get players to understand them because managers and agents don’t know about taxes.”
In addition to his new mission of educating today’s athletes on financial management, he also serves as a mental health advocate, having experienced issues himself. He even has written a book on his struggles, which can be purchased on Amazon, and continues his mission of helping athletes today.
God speed, Ray!