Robert Nkemdiche's signing-bonus plan: Escalade, new sax, visit to thrift store

Cardinals first-round pick Robert Nkemdiche isn't going overboard with his newfound wealth.

 Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Robert Nkemdiche's list of things to buy when he received his signing bonus after being selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the first round of the draft last month had just two things on it.

The 21-year-old defensive tackle said he didn’t need much in the immediate, except one major necessity: a way to get around. The first thing Nkemdiche bought with his $4.45 million signing bonus was a Cadillac Escalade.

He also plans on buying a new saxophone.

At some point he’ll get a house too, because, he said, he needs somewhere to sleep. But a vehicle was a priority, Nkemdiche told ESPN. “Just need a car to get around,” he said, and he specifically wanted an Escalade.

“Escalade has always been a cool car,” he said. “It’s just like, sleek, spacious. It’s cool.”

Next on his list is a new sax. Known for his musical talent that he showcased in December at a jazz club owned by actor Morgan Freeman in Clarksdale, Mississippi, Nkemdiche has a new model in mind.

“I’m a tenor guy right now," he said. "But after I finish mastering that, I want to move to a soprano.”

Other than a new ride and a new horn, Nkemdiche said he doesn’t need much. He recently went shopping at a thrift store to stock up on XXXXL and XXXXXL shirts.

“I’m not a pretentious guy,” Nkemdiche said. “I’m a regular, down-to-earth dude, so I don’t really have a lot to spend it on because I don’t really need much.”

Nkemdiche has had his thrift-store mentality for “a long time.” To him, money is a necessity in life, but it’s not the be-all and end-all.

“There’s always been something more for me for this world, in general,” he said. “I’m not really moved by it. It’s cool to have because you need it to sustain yourself in this life and this world, but it’s not my motive.

“When I kind of got in touch with myself I kind of figured that out, and I was like, ‘Oh, no wonder I never really cared about money. No wonder why everything’s been a joke to me because it is what it is.’ I kind of figure, you go through life, you experience life and you figure things out and you add up the pieces.”