Cattlemen, cupcakes and card games: NFL players' unique jobs

Partners Bryan Hinson, Brian Orakpo, center, and former Titans safety Michael Griffin hope their venture will encourage more players to pursue entrepreneurial interests and risks. Courtesy Gigi's Bee Cave

With NFL training camps set to kick off at the end of July, we'll be in the thick of football season before we know it. But how have players been spending their time off?

Here's a snapshot of various off-field careers and crafts that players have been working on:

Cornerback Joe Haden has turned a childhood passion for footwear into a business plan. Haden is the owner of The Restock in downtown Cleveland, specializing in the re-sale of high-end sneakers. Haden estimates he has about 2,000 pairs of shoes in the store, and after pouring $200,000 into the business, the store is now profitable. Read more. -- Jeremy Fowler

Rookie defensive end Chad Thomas is a music producer. He produced "Apple of My Eye," the opening track of Rick Ross' most recent album "Rather You Than Me." Thomas plays nine instruments and has been performing since he was 5 years old. He goes by Major Nine for his production work. -- Pat McManamon

Safety Malcolm Jenkins has his own designer menswear store. What started as a desire to look his best on road trips turned into an all-out passion for fashion. First he created a bow tie line called Rock Avenue, then upped the ante by opening Damari Savile, a brick-and-mortar in Philadelphia, last summer. Although he has a demanding full-time job and a host of other outside interests, Jenkins likes to be hands-on where he can. "That's kind of the fun part is that I actually enjoy picking out the fabrics and designing the suit," he said. Read more. -- Tim McManus

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Linebacker Brian Orakpo co-owns a cupcake shop. He opened the store -- Gigi's Cupcakes in Bee Cave, Texas -- with former teammate and recently retired safety Michael Griffin, and friend and business partner Bryan Hynson. This is Orakpo's first venture into business ownership, and it started from desiring ownership for one of his favorite guilty pleasures. "I wish more and more guys would take that risk or that jump. It keeps you busy," Orakpo said. "A lot of guys don't know what to do in the offseason -- all they do is work out and go home." Griffin added: "It was harder than playing football. This was like a completely foreign language." Read more. -- Cameron Wolfe

Linebacker Whitney Mercilus opened a restaurant, One Fifth, with Houston chef Chris Shepherd last year. It's a five-year project featuring five different restaurant concepts, with each concept running for a year before they totally change the menu and look of the building. The first year was steak, this year is romance languages. -- Sarah Barshop

Guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is a doctor. He graduated from medical school at Montreal's McGill University in May. He isn't practicing medicine yet and won't until his football career is finished. He plans on specializing in emergency medicine when he's done playing. Read more. -- Adam Teicher

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has been a judicial intern. The Pro Bowl safety, who received his criminal justice degree from Alabama this spring, has worked with local judge Donald R. Zuidmulder to further understand the inner workings of the justice system. He also spends time with police and FBI agents and plans to pursue a career in one of those branches after his playing days. Read more. -- Rob Demovsky

Offensive lineman Ben Garland doubles as a captain in the United States Air Force. He attended the Air Force Academy and was deployed to Jordan for a short stint while on active duty. Although Garland has completed his military commitment, he still serves with the Air National Guard 140th Security Forces Squadron, based at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colorado."If my body is still holding up, I'd love to go back to active duty," the 30-year-old Garland said. Read more. -- Vaughn McClure

Defensive lineman Al Woods is a third-generation cattleman. He spends most, if not all, of the offseason working on his family's farm in Elton, Louisiana -- a town of about 1,130 people. Woods and his family have about 150 Black Angus, Brangus and Bremer cattle. He starts each morning on the farm at 5 a.m. and takes care of three fields, checking the fence lines, the water, the health of the cattle, and he feeds them. "My grandfather started the farm, my father then took it over, and now I'm part of it with my dad and best friend," Woods said. "I basically live 3.4 miles outside of my hometown where I was born and raised. My wife literally grew up a mile from where we built our house." Read more. -- Mike Wells

Defensive end Calais Campbell and his brother founded a sports/comedy production company called The Team Network. The group, which started several years ago, recently partnered with Uninterrupted to produce an inside look at the free-agency process, including a look at Campbell's decision to sign with the Jaguars in 2017. It also produces digital shorts involving other professional athletes. Campbell would like to be involved full time with the project -- and potentially do some other work in the television industry -- when his football career is over. -- Mike DiRocco

Punter Tress Way turned training camp boredom into a board game. In training camp of 2016, Way started asking teammates and coaches trivia questions -- name the top 10 winningest college football programs, for example. It became so popular among teammates that they kept asking for more. Eventually he turned it into a board game released last August called What's your Bid? He followed that up with a card game called Who Farted? Yes, farted. In a nutshell, the last one still holding a card is, uh, the farter. Naturally there are cards in the game that read "Silent but deadly" and "Whoever smelt it dealt it." It's for ages 8 and up. Way once called the game "super embarrassing" but said that everyone loved it. Read more. -- John Keim

Punter Jon Ryan became a co-owner of the Portland Pickles last spring. It's a collegiate wooden-bat baseball team that plays over the summer in the West Coast League. Ryan, a Seattle Mariners season-ticket holder, has a passion for baseball and no shortage of zany ideas that he wants to try out. He told the Seattle Times that he's interested in buying more teams down the road, calling the Pickles "the start of our baseball empire." -- Brady Henderson

Offensive guard Rodger Saffold owns a competitive video game organization that competes in tournaments across the world. Saffold's organization, Rise Nation, boasts a Call of Duty team and Street Fighter player who are among the best in the world. Saffold has 10 employees who assist with business operations, scouting players and drawing up contracts, and he has anywhere between 12 and 16 players on his team at a time. "It's fun," Saffold said. "It's also very stressful. I mean, it's a lot of little things that go into it." Saffold said several of his teammates have inquired about joining the business, but he's in no rush to expand. Read more. -- Lindsey Thiry

Wide receiver Bernard Reedy, is a driver for Care Ride, a Tampa Bay company that transports people in wheelchairs. According to his supervisor, Vince Cocks, he works one day a week on average, but in March and April, he was working four days a week. It's all dependent on his practice schedule. His mother also started working for the company this past year, and sometimes they even share a van. "Needless to say, we're delighted [to have Bernard]," Cocks said. "He adds a unique employment background that our clients really enjoy. We absolutely are behind Bernard in his 'main job!'" Read more. -- Jenna Laine

Quarterback Drew Brees is heavily involved in the restaurant business. He's a franchise owner or business partner of several Jimmy John's sandwich shops, Walk-On's sports bars and the Waitr food-delivery app, and he even moonlighted as a Waitr delivery guy for a promotion in May. He's also getting involved with Surge Trampoline Park among other endeavors this offseason. He also took on his most ambitious project yet last year when he and longtime friend and business partner, Chris Stuart, started Football 'N' America -- a flag football league that they hope will spread nationwide. The father of four also serves as a coach for multiple teams. -- Mike Triplett

Pro Bowl linebacker Terrell Suggs definitely has some Hollywood in him. Suggs has acted in the HBO Series "Ballers" with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and has a production company named "Team Sizzle Worldwide." One of his films, "When Beautiful People Do Ugly Things," was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011. Suggs even has an IMDB page as an actor, producer and writer. -- Jamison Hensley

Veteran cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick runs a record label called Supa Team Muzik. Kirkpatrick started the label last year with one artist, J-Ova, whom Kirkpatrick has known since he played football at Alabama, but other rappers have cycled through since then. Kirkpatrick is very passionate about music and has said he would have pursued a career in the music industry if football hadn't worked out. -- Katherine Terrell

Center Ryan Kalil owns a production company in the Los Angeles area called Mortal Media that he launched with NBA star Blake Griffin. Their first project was a sequel to the 1991 Disney movie "The Rocketeer.'' They also are working on a remake of the 1992 hit "White Men Can't Jump." In 2016 he served as an executive producer along with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to produce the Sony Pictures film "Son of Shaolin.'' He's pretty good at spontaneous in-house iPhone productions, as well. His spoof of Cam Newton's birthday video with his offensive linemen -- as well as tight end Greg Olsen and linebacker Luke Kuechly -- was epic. Read more. -- David Newton