Ballers: Is Ricky Jerret Based on a Real NFL Player?

HBO’s ‘Ballers‘ is a sports drama series that focuses on the lives of former as well as current football players, especially Spencer Strasmore who was a former player and currently works as a financial manager to mentor current players through the financial and other aspects of the footballing world. Apart from Spencer, another one of the pivotal characters and driving forces of the series is Ricky Jerret, who is portrayed by John David Washington.

Ricky, the son of a former NFL player named Dennis Jerret, plays for the Green Bay Packers at the start of the show before he gets released due to a series of controversial incidents off the field. After that, he is given an opportunity by the Miami Dolphins to prove himself and others that despite his off-field tantrums he can actually remain focused professionally and help any team he plays for. As the show progresses, the audience might wonder whether or not Ricky is based on a real NFL player. Well, allow us to provide you with the answer!

Is Ricky Jerret Based on a Real NFL Player?

No, Ricky Jerret is not based on a real NFL player. However, since the character consists of a set of traits common amongst a host of NFL players, it is only natural for one to pose the question. If we talk about his appearance, many fans acknowledge the uncanny similarities between him and the real-life football player Odell Beckham Jr., as they have been frequently compared on social media. But if we get over the appearance aspect and focus on Ricky’s game and role in ‘Ballers,’ you might notice certain parallels to other NFL players.

In the sports drama show, Ricky has a reputation for indulging in lots of extravagant partying as he allows his wild and unprofessional side to take over ever so often. This leads to him dominating the headlines the next day for the wrong reasons and getting involved in controversies that make everyone around him question his professionalism, all of which leads to him being released on short notice from the Green Bay Packers. So, even though he has a good heart and is not only immensely passionate about the sport but also highly talented on the field, his partying and antics are what get highlighted on the front page.

Considering all these traits, Ricky can be compared to the wide receiver Terrell Owens whose exceptional talent was overlooked by people due to all the controversies and antics he got involved in off the field. Despite being reportedly second in all-time receiving yards and third in receiving touchdowns, he was overlooked for the Hall of Fame because of his unprofessionalism, attitude, and controversies.

John David Washington, who portrays Ricky Jerrett, was a professional football player himself before he dipped his toes in the world of acting. After playing for his college and going undrafted in the 2006 NFL Draft, he was signed by the St. Louis Rams as a free agent. He also played for the Rhein Fire in NFL Europe in the 2007 offseason before signing for the California Redwoods in the United Football League until the league folded abruptly in 2012.

Despite the fact that they have a career in football, there are no striking similarities between John David Washington and Ricky Jerrett in terms of their football careers. When it comes to their life after retiring from football, they both got into different professions — John got into acting, and Ricky started his own radio show. However, upon careful observation, we noticed a similarity between the two as just like Ricky followed in the footsteps of his father who was a former NFL player himself, John David Washington did the same by pursuing a career in acting and following in the footsteps of his father, the legendary actor Denzel Washington.

Read More: Ballers: Is Spencer Strasmore Based on a Real NFL Player?