David Akers had a lot on his mind a year ago when he missed two field goal attempts for the Philadelphia Eagles in their 21-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers, a performance that put an end to an impressive 12-year stint with that NFL franchise.
The former University of Louisville kicker was allegedly swindled out of $3.7 million in a Ponzi scheme, placing his hard earned money in Triton Financial, which was run by Kurt Barton, from 2007 through 2009.
“I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights,” Akers told a grand jury in a Texas court last summer. “As I said, this is my family’s future. I said that to Kurt a lot of times. I said, ‘Man, I’m trusting in you.'”
A Ponzi scheme, of course, is an investment scam in which the money from later investors is paid to early investors. Later investors, like Akers, got nothing back at all, losing most or all they had invested.
To make matters worse, the Philadelphia Eagles waived Akers, putting him on the free market. Quite a blow for a five-time Pro Bowl kicker who held the record for 19 consecutive post-season field goal conversions.
He was picked up in the off season by the San Francisco 49ers, packing up his family and moving to a rental house in the Bay area.
In November, a federal judge in Austin sentenced Kurt Barton to 17 years in prison.
David Akers, meanwhile, would get back on track with the struggling 49er offense, setting NFL league records by a kicker with 44 field goals and 166 points. One of those included a 55-yard field goal against the Dallas Cowboys in September, the longest field goal ever in Candlestick Park.
Akers also was selected for this year’s NFL Pro Bowl, for the sixth time. What were the Eagles thinking?