FootballMerlin Olsen Total Net Worth and Cause of Death

Merlin Olsen Total Net Worth and Cause of Death

Merlin Olsen is a former NFL player who is well-known for his successful career and media presence. He completed his high school and college education and began his NFL career in 1962. He set many records in his football career and gained several awards and recognition. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982. His average annual salary was $0.5 million. But what is Merlin Olsen’s total worth in 2024? Let’s find out.

What is Merlin Olsen’s Net Worth in 2024?

Besides the NFL, he was also successful as a broadcaster, actor, and businessman. In his media career, he worked for lots of channels. He also filmed The Undefeated, One More Train to Rob, Something Big, and Mitchell. The net worth of this successful American football player is $19 million. By dedicating his life to the field of football, he became able to be such a wealthy man with a flourishing career. A notable portion of the property he achieved in his life was from the fortune of his football career. However, in his post-retirement life, he also earned lots of money.

NFL Player Merlin Olsen’s Family

Olsen was born on September 15, 1940, in Logan, Utah. The full name of this man is Merlin Jay Olsen. His father, Lynn Jay Olsen, was a professor. His mother, Merle Barrus Olsen, graduated in elementary education. He was the second child of nine children. His brother, Orrin Olsen, is a football player who played in the NFL. Another brother, Phil Olsen, is also a football player. His nephew, Hans Olsen, also played in the NFL.


Merlin Jay Olsen

Profession: Former NFL Player
Birth: September 15, 1940, Utah, USA
  • First-team All-Pro five times
  • Second-team All-Pro five times
  • NFL Rookie of the Year
Jersey Number: 74
Position: Defensive Tackle
College Education: Utah State University
Wife/Girlfriend: Susan Wakley
Nationality: American
Debut Team: Los Angeles Rams
Height: 6 ft 5 inches
Weight: 122 Kg

School and College Life

He completed his high school education at Logan High School in Logan, Utah.

Then he was admitted to Utah State University (USU) in Logan. He played for his college team, the Utah State Aggies, from 1959 to 1961. Here he played in the “defensive tackle” position. He got the honor of being a consensus All-American selection and won the Outland Trophy. In his junior year in 1960, he was also named an All-American by the Football Writers Association of America and the Newspaper Enterprise Association. He was named All-Conference in both 1960 and 1961. In his senior year, he averaged 50.8 rushing yards, 88.6 passing yards, and 139.4 total yards.

Drafted Teams and NFL Contract History

Merlin Olsen Career Earnings

Merlin Olsen was first drafted in 1962 and retired in 1976. He spent all his career and time with the Los Angeles Rams. In the 1962 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams took him 3rd overall in the 1st round. He also got into the AFL Draft, coming in 2nd overall in the 1st round. He represented the Los Angeles Rams from 1962 to 1976. In his career, he played in 208 games. The career statistics of this man are:

  • Interceptions: 1
  • AV: 167
  • Sk: 91.0

Success and Awards 

He was a First-Team All-Pro from 1966 to 1970. He earned his place on the second-team All-Pro five times (from 1963 to 1965, 1973, and 1974). For the fourteen times he won the honor of the Pro Bowl (from 1962 to 1975). He became the NFL Rookie of the Year in 1962. He earned his place on the NFL’s 1960s All-Decade Team. This man was part of the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade Team.

Hall of Fame

He earned his position on the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team. He made his way to the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. To honor him, the Los Angeles Rams retired jersey number 74. He won the Bert Bell Award in 1974. Olsen won the Outland Trophy in 1961. He was a first-team All-American in 1960 and 1961. Olsen became a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He became a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Wife and Kids

In personal life, Merlin Olsen married Susan Wakley. His wife is a fellow USU student. He married her on March 30, 1962. Their family has three children. They are Nathan Olsen, Kelly Olsen, and Jill Olsen.

Height, weight, and jersey number

Merlin Olsen stands up to 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 270 pounds.

Merlin Olsen Total Worth

His professional skills spread the light of his magic in the field of football, where he played in the “defensive tackle” position. Besides favoring his teams, he also made his career weighty in this position. His jersey number was 74 throughout his football career.

How did Merlin Olsen die?

Merlin Olsen is no longer with us. He was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in 2009. It is a type of malignant cancer. Under treatment, he took the last inhale of his life on March 11, 2010, at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California. At the time of his death, he was 69 years old. He is interred in San Gabriel, California’s San Gabriel Cemetery.

Top 5 Merlin Olsen Quotes:

“After a few games, I knew I was going to be able to compete. The idea of being a star never crossed my mind.”- Merlin Olsen

“I was always the last one chosen for football games in Central Park.”- Merlin Olsen

“It took me a while to realize that basketball wasn’t football.”- said Merlin Olsen

“Nobody cared about swimming. You could draw a crowd for basketball.”- Merlin Olsen

“The winning team has dedication. It will have a core of veteran players who set the standards. They will not accept defeat.”- Merlin Olsen


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