Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

14 Jan 2009

Bradford Returning To OU, Sanchez Going Pro

Many have been assuming for quite a while that he's gone. I know that I assumed that, anyway. Returning to OU will probably make him a better quarterback long-term, as he'll learn how to handle pressure a lot better than he has to date (OU will have almost an entirely new offensive line protecting him), but it will also possibly make his draft stock drop a bit, as with new blockers and new receiving targets his overall his numbers will likely suffer.

Thoughts? Smart move on his part?

UPDATE: Mark Sanchez is reportedly on his way to the pros. Add your thoughts about that here as well.

Posted by: Bill Connelly on 14 Jan 2009

55 comments, Last at 17 Jan 2009, 1:08am by An Ominous

Comments

1
by Doug Farrar :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 6:41pm

Incredibly smart, in my opinion. My take on Bradford was as it would be for a double-A pitcher with ridiculous and consistent 98-MPH ability, decent location, but in need of another year or so in the barrel. Ungodly stuff, but not quite there yet. He's got the tools -- now it's time to refine them.

7
by Joe :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 6:54pm

From the standpoint of his future NFL team this may be a good move, but from Bradford's own personal interests this is a foolish move, just based on risk/reward. If he's still raw, then he can get developed in the NFL, and get paid a lot of money for his effort.

2
by Fourth (not verified) :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 6:43pm

It's hardly ever a smart move to stay if you're a lock to be a top 10 pick. Good luck to him.

3
by Bill Connelly :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 6:46pm

...I always admire when college kids say "The money can wait," but there's just so much risk involved in coming back another year when you're projected that high. I loved that Gary Pinkel basically told Jeremy Maclin, "We'd love to have you another year. It would be such an honor to coach you again. But you have to do this--you're ready."

I do think that, whether his stock falls or not, he'll be a better QB for it, though, so power to him for that...

47
by johonny (not verified) :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 3:18pm

When you see the numbers that say college starts matter in if you will make it long term in the pros. Then money wise it would make sense to come back for one more season in college.

18
by thewedge :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 8:00pm

See: Brohm, Brian

4
by Joe :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 6:48pm

My opinion: Never a smart move to stay in college when you are projected as a top 5-10 draft pick. Too much guaranteed money involved - leaving now means he's set for life. Next year could bring any number of catastrophes, notably a career-ending injury but also just having a bad year and lower pick. He could lose a lot of money.

Going pro, he loses nothing. Worst case scenario for entering the NFL - he's a bust of Ryan Leaf proportions - still leaves him financially stable and young enough to complete his degree or start a non-football career if that is his choice.

The only reason to not go pro now is if he doesn't want to play pro football at all.

5
by Key19 :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 6:48pm

I honestly think that it's the best move to be as good as possible before you enter the pros, ESPECIALLY at QB. Think about it: What if Bradford takes a big step in becoming more keen on handing pressure and such this season and therefore becomes a better overall QB? That could be the difference between a successful and Pro Bowl-caliber career and a few years of struggling before being a backup for the rest of his life. You only get a few chances to really play at the pro level, so be sure that you are as ready as possible when you come in. The NFL isn't going to wait for you to get better, and once you've shown that you're not ready, it's much more difficult to get back as a starter, even if you do improve enough to be one.

Good move. A long career with a lower draft pick will net more money and a better experience than a short career where you don't hit all of your potential but managed to make a few extra millions from being chosen higher.

11
by Joe :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 7:03pm

How much more money do you think he'll make being a successful low round pick vs. a high round bust? A top 5 QB is going to get on the order of $40 million guaranteed, based on Matt Ryan's contract. His first contract will be like 5 years and $80 million.

Brady Quinn, drafted in the middle of round 1, got $30 million, only $8 million guaranteed. The dropoff is incredible for only 15 picks lower.

Eli Manning was reported today to be worth 7/8 years and $120 million, and he's the reigning super bowl MVP. The chances of Bradford reaching that level is slim regardless of whether he goes back to school or not.

14
by Key19 :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 7:34pm

Ok, so he gets Matt Ryan's contract. And then he goes out and sucks. Can't handle pressure and throws 26 picks. Gets benched and never gets another contract after his first expires. You can't tell me that's better than getting a Brady Quinn contract, playing it out with success, and then getting a Tony Romo contract (what was it, 5 years, $67 million?). That way, he not only will have had success, which is what I would want to be in the NFL for, but also he earned more money overall. The only thing I would possibly worry about is a career-ending injury before I got to the pros. But the chances of that are so incredibly small. If I were him, I'd look to try and succeed at the NFL level. It's the best option. If you succeed, you get plenty of money AND the sense of accomplishment.

If you want to have a good NFL experience AND make plenty of money, stay in college. If you want to try and just milk the horrible rookie guaranteed money system, come out. Personally, I'd rather have a solid career in the NFL and have a few less million dollars than to suck and have a few more million dollars.

23
by ChrisH :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 8:36pm

I think it's a pretty hard sell to say that one more years in college is going to make the difference between being Ryan Leaf and Tony Romo, in terms of ability. The odds that you'll be drafted low and turn into a Pro Bowl player are probably worse than if you're drafted high, right? Also, if you are drafted lower, the team won't have as much invested in making you succeed at the next level. Yes, they'll want you to, but if they see you struggling after 2 years, there's a lot less risk for them to let you go than if they invested $40 million in you.

Myself, the risk of injury would make me never think twice about leaving (just think about the Florida player who got hurt in the title game. I never heard what it was, but I couldn't watch the replay) if I was going to go as high as Bradford would. You also get (as the writer at SI pointed out today) an extra year invested in the NFL pension and benefits system. If you're drafted Top 5 that probably doesn't matter, but it certainly doesn't hurt. I just see no way that you can say the odds of him staying and falling in draft status next year and then succeeding out-weight the odds of him leaving now, being a Top 5 pick, and not succeeding. I don't think the odds are $25 million good there.

24
by Joe :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 9:28pm

I see your point but here's what I'm thinking: Why would I turn down $80 today for the chance to get $100 5 years from now, in the remote chance I turn into a top 5 QB? Nobody can tell me an extra year in college is going to make the difference, the biggest impact to his success, or lack thereof, is going to be the talent surrounding him in the pros (players and system).

The money isn't guaranteed, take as much as you can get as early as you can get it.

26
by Key19 :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 9:40pm

I understand your logic, and it's not wrong by any stretch. I just think that if the goal of your career is to be the best player possible and try and have the most playing time, staying in college another year if you still think you can improve your game is a good idea. I guess I'm putting a lot more value in having a great NFL experience rather than just raking in big bucks.

Overall, if I were a QB who thought that I was really good, but could be extremely good with another year of college, I think I would stay. In Bradford's case, reading blitzes and handling pressure well is a must for any successful NFL QB. If he feels he can't do that, he might want to stick around college and learn on a shallower learning curve than just thinking "well I'll learn in the pros." You're more likely to get injured in the pros than in college I would say. Would you rather get pummeled by some Texas Tech DE or Jared Allen as you learn to play with pressure (assuming he'd go to the Lions if he came out)? I dunno. I think there is no wrong answer. It just depends on the person. I don't think having a blanket statement of "everyone should come out if they can get a ton of *undeserved* guaranteed money" is the right way to go about things. It depends on the situation and the player. Let's say McNabb somehow is out of Philly and Kolb starts and they go 2-14. I'd MUCH rather be drafted by the Eagles than the Lions. I'm not saying that has any realistic chance of happening, but the point is that you will be hard-pressed to find a worse situation to enter as a rookie QB than Detroit, so going somewhere else (hopefully) next year also seems like a plus.

I don't know. I just think that not coming out isn't a horrible idea by any stretch like some people here do. But once again, I also put a lot of emphasis on the main goal being have a good career rather than make lots of money. If Bradford came out, I wouldn't think he made the wrong move. But as I said, I also don't think that staying is the wrong move. Either one works.

33
by the silent speaker (not verified) :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 3:44am

I would add to this that you're not really turning down all 80 today. I mean, technically you are, but probable worst-case scenario, if you really are all that, you turn down 80 today but will get 40 right back next year -- even if you don't get all 80 -- and still have the shot at 100 in five. Meanwhile you have you degree in hand as insurance in case football doesn't pan out for you, and you will have an extra year to get better and improve your odds at that 100 (maybe not much better if you're already at the top of the pile, but better).

I wonder why holdouts don't apply similar reasoning: I can hold out for the extra guaranteed year at $10 million or whatever, and lose my rookie season for improvement, or I can accept a contract admittedly slightly less than I'm worth and use the time to become a player they can't afford not to offer the keys to the bank vault for my second contract. I'm thinking of guys like Derrick Harvey who lose their entire preseason which they desperately need to learn the ropes; now they have one year less to get the system down, and their stats come renegotiation time are that much lower.

34
by the silent speaker (not verified) :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 3:45am

I would add to this that you're not really turning down all 80 today. I mean, technically you are, but probable worst-case scenario, if you really are all that, you turn down 80 today but will get 40 right back next year -- even if you don't get all 80 -- and still have the shot at 100 in five. Meanwhile you have you degree in hand as insurance in case football doesn't pan out for you, and you will have an extra year to get better and improve your odds at that 100 (maybe not much better if you're already at the top of the pile, but better).

I wonder why holdouts don't apply similar reasoning: I can hold out for the extra guaranteed year at $10 million or whatever, and lose my rookie season for improvement, or I can accept a contract admittedly slightly less than I'm worth and use the time to become a player they can't afford not to offer the keys to the bank vault for my second contract. I'm thinking of guys like Derrick Harvey who lose their entire preseason which they desperately need to learn the ropes; now they have one year less to get the system down, and their stats come renegotiation time are that much lower.

51
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Fri, 01/16/2009 - 12:51pm

MOST QBs drafted don't succeed.

He's a top 10 pick right now. The chances of his stock going down are much higher than the chances they go up. He comes out, gets drafted 8, gets 30M guaranteed, and never has to worry about money ever again. His kids never have to worry about money.

Getting that initial $30M is worth more than maximizing your earnings, because the alternative is a bad year, getting drafted at the bottom of the first/top of the second, and getting $6M/5 years.

As far as lifestyles go, theres no a lot of difference between $30M, and $80M. There, however, is a huge difference between $30M guaranteed, and hurting your knee and getting drafted in the 6th round.

6
by Telamon :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 6:52pm

Based on the possibility of him becoming the next Joey Harrington (not comparing them based on ability, just potential Lion-ness) I can't blame him for staying. It's not like being a top-5 pick guarantees success. Obviously if he wanted to blow a lot of money quickly it's a mistake, but otherwise, great move.

8
by idon'tthinkso (not verified) :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 6:56pm

Sam Bradford's set for life financially already. OU boosters will make him the silent partner in restaurants, car dealerships, etc., like they've done for past Sooners. It may not be as glamorous as the NFL, and it might not be as much money up front, but young Sam's achievements at OU have already put him on easy street.

13
by Joe :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 7:10pm

OU boosters are not going to drop $40 million guaranteed on him 6 months from now. Whichever NFL team drafts him will (assuming he's top 5 as projected.) If Sam Bradford never plays a snap in an NFL game the interest on his guaranteed money will be more annually than anything OU boosters would pay him in phony salary. Not to mention that his contract will likely pay him $5-10 million more for the 2-3 years it'll take before everyone realizes if he doesn't have it.

Think about it.

9
by Justin Zeth :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 6:59pm

My opinion: He's avoiding the Lions.

40
by 2468 ben (not verified) :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 12:19pm

Exactly. Bradford would be the media darling heading through the offseason, and it would be hard for the Lions NOT to pick a QB for rebuilding inspiration, since Kevin Smith shows promise and Megatron rules the field.
Then Sammy's stuck on the worst team in history, knowing Week 1 he'll be "learning" in front of the Detroit offensive line while Kampman, Allen, the Williams brothers and the entire Chicago Bears sack him something awful.
Of course he's passing.

10
by jimm (not verified) :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 7:03pm

Doug Farrar - where is there any evidence that "rushing" a kid in baseball or football hurts a career. Baseball studies have shown that if the kid's Major League Equivalency numbers suggest he'll hit, he'll hit - it has nothing to do with age or experience.

Lewin's QB rating system showed a correlation to college starts but that is a very small sample of QB's he's working with.

I have no idea where this guy would be picked, but if the mock drafts are correct and he's a top 5 guy I think he's taking a huge risk staying in college. Maybe Oklahoma is paying him more to stay.

15
by MJK :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 7:43pm

To agree with you further: the correlation in Lewin's QB system between college starts and success does NOT imply causation--i.e. it does not imply that starting more makes one better.

The correlation exists because Lewin's system applies only to highly drafted QB's. More starts = more opportunities for scouts to see you and determine if you actually are good or not. Hence QB's that start more are more thoroughly vetted when they are picked high, which means a lower probability of them being a bust. Hence there will be a correlation for highly drafted QB's between success and starts.

I'll ramble on a little more, because I enjoy playing with probability and correlation. Imagine you had a barrel full of little electric balls. Each one randomly flashes either a green or red light once every few seconds. Some of them flash green a very high percentage of the time, and some a very low percentage of the time. Your objective is to pick the ten balls that tend to flash the most green.

Pick out a hundred balls out and watch them for four hours, keeping track of how often each one flashes green. At the end of four hours, pick the ten that flashed green most often.

Now pick out another hundred balls and watch them for just 10 minutes. Then pick the ten that flashed green more often in that 10 minute period.

It's almost certain that the first group of ten will produce more total green over the next year than the second group of ten. Some of the second ten might have just got on a hot streak for the 10 minutes you were watching them (or they might just play for Texas) but actually be the Jamarcus Russel of flashing electric balls, while you watched all of the first ten to be sure that you weren't just seeing a hot streak.

Note that, even though there is a correlation between green flashing tendency and time you watched them, watching a ball for longer doesn't make the ball any more likely to flash green--it just makes you less likely to pick it for your ten if it doesn't deserve it.

16
by MJK :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 7:44pm

Sorry, I forgot the point of that very long ramble.

If Bradford stays in, he hurts his stock if he is not as good as advertised, because he increases the probability that teams will realize that.

27
by Joe :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 9:43pm

Absolutely, and his stock cannot get any higher since he is already a top 5 pick. So it can only go down from here.

I remember having this exact same argument with people over Matt Leinart's decision to return to USC. That decision ended up costing him more than $10 million in guaranteed money, or about 50% of the $24 million he would have made had he come out in 2005.

12
by D :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 7:09pm

My guess; he just really didn't want to risk getting drafted by the Lions.

17
by Jon :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 7:47pm

I'm not sure his stock was as high as everyone says it is. The two big red flags were that he was only a sophomore, and that OU used the Shotgun formation an awful lot this year. The poor senior QB class this year is forcing a lot of players to jump early.

That being said, I definitely see the Tom Brady comparison. Bradford is very accurate, he's someone that Lewin will love down the road.

19
by Will H (not verified) :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 8:13pm

In addition to that, there's also not a ton of teams who would have went QB, the first three in Detroit, KC, St Louis all could, but they all have massive needs as well, and Stafford is ranked higher than Bradford in most reports I've read anyway then you get to SF at 10 as a team that could go that route, after that it's the Jets at 17. There is always the possibility of a team going QB in a surprise or trading up, but I don't see it as a sure thing that he would have went top 10. Next year, doesn't look a lot deeper either.

20
by Joe T. (not verified) :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 8:14pm

I think you can argue that there is risk in being drafted in the first round. Guys like Matt Ryan and Flacco are the exception rather than the rule, the majority of first round QBs have been subjected to poor protection schemes since they get drafted by chronically mismanaged teams with recurring high draft picks. Getting smeared all over the field your first 2-3 years is not conducive to development, and ultimately every prospective NFL QB's goal is to have a successful career, since success in the pros is certainly more lucrative that sucking at the professional level and having your career fizzle out after 3 years.

Matt Ryan and Peyton Manning were acclaimed as the most pro-ready QBs probably of the modern era. I'm not hearing that about Bradford, only that he's Top 10 as a redshirt sophomore. Sure, that's a subjective argument, but the consensus was right about Manning (and it looks like Ryan).

Bradford is risking absorbing a career limiting or ending injury (not common at all), but most of all he's risking having his draft stock drop, probably at most 1 or 1.5 rounds. He might lose the absurd rookie contract with its guaranteed millions, but going lower in the draft is going to increase his chances of getting selected by a team that will take his development more seriously and increase his chances of success at the next level.

55
by An Ominous (not verified) :: Sat, 01/17/2009 - 1:08am

Who was touting Ryan as especially pro-ready compared to other top-10 QBs? The most "pro-ready" QB I've heard of since Manning was Matt Leinart, and we all know how that worked out. Eli Manning was also considered especially pro-ready, and people were still speculating whether he was a bust up until he won the SB in his 5th season (4th season?). At the same time, both of the two highly-drafted QBs who were considered especially big projects (Ben Roethlisberger and Vince Young) wound up winning offensive rookie of the year. Joe Flacco was another rookie QB who was supposed to be a massive project.

21
by Crushinator (not verified) :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 8:18pm

Bad move by Bradford IMO. He's looking to be one of the top 2 QBs selected this draft if he comes out and he's coming off a National Championship Appearance. His stock is already about as high as it can get, and he can only hurt himself. His best case scenario is churning out another great season, which is no easy feat - and he doesn't know which QBs are coming out next year.

21
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 8:18pm

I didn't see Sanchez play a lot, but his play in the Rose Bowl exceeded anything I saw from any other college qb this year, in terms of making the necessary (for the NFL) high velocity throws downfield into windows which were sometimes not at all large, after going through progressions and sometimes looking off defensive backs. He certainly threw better that day than Leinert ever did.

25
by B :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 9:29pm

I have what's probably a dumb question for Bradford. If he's a sophomore, how come he's had three years at OU already?

29
by peachy (not verified) :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 10:55pm

He's a redshirt sophomore.

28
by AlanSP (not verified) :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 10:04pm

Financially, it's a high-risk, low reward move for Bradford. It reminds me a little bit of when Leinart went back for his senior year when he would have been a lock for the number 1 pick as a junior. Leinart's skill set didn't change over that year, but with an extra year of scrutiny, scouts became less impressed with him. That, combined with a much stronger draft class the next year, ended up costing Leinart a boatload of money. That's not to say that there aren't a ton of other reasons he might want to stay that are unrelated to money.

For what it's worth, I think Bradford is a much better pro prospect than Stafford, who seems to be the latest QB whose big arm causes scouts to ignore the fact that he hasn't been terribly accurate or consistent.

30
by Pat F. :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 12:35am

I do wonder how much of Bradford's decision is based on the possibility of winning a 2nd Heisman. While returning is a difficult decision to justify on a financial basis, it's possible that the shot at that sort of personal glory is more valuable to him, especially considering he's probably 90-95% sure to be a top-10 pick in 2010.

Also, just eyeballing it, the 2010 draft appears to be substantially weaker than 2009. These are the only 2010 mocks/rankings I could find in like 2 minutes of googling, but Bradford looks better than every other prospect by a mile. It's less clear-cut this year (Andre Smith, Michael Oher, Michael Crabtree, and apparently Matt Stafford could all plausibly be #1 overall material). This would/should mitigate the effects of a mediocre 2009 season, to some extent.

31
by Xeynon (not verified) :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 2:50am

I remember having this exact same argument with people over Matt Leinart's decision to return to USC. That decision ended up costing him more than $10 million in guaranteed money, or about 50% of the $24 million he would have made had he come out in 2005.

It also failed to help him turn into an elite NFL passer. Perhaps he would have been even more mediocre had he come out as a junior, but Leinart's an inconvenient case for the "more college experience = better pro QB" argument.

32
by Justin Zeth :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 3:09am

Is there really any evidence for the 'more college experience = better pro QB' argument besides Peyton Manning, who in all likelihood would have been a hall of fame QB even if he'd come out after his junior year and joined the Jets?

Let me look around... Donovan McNabb was a senior. So were Tim Couch and Akili Smith (though Smith only started as a senior). Culpepper was also a senior.

Vick came out as a redshirt sophomore... I guess he'd be cited as part of the case against coming out early. Drew Brees was a senior.

David Carr was a senior. So was Joey Harrington.

Carson Palmer, senior.

Eli Manning and Phil Rivers were seniors. Ben Roethlisberger, who has had the highest peak of the big three, was a junior. Losman was also a senior.

That's all I got time for tonight, but I don't see a ton of evidence... I do see that there really haven't been that many big-time quarterbacks that have come out early. It's actually fairly rare.

35
by parker (not verified) :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 9:33am

Justin Zeth,
Google David Lewin. He's written extensively on this subject and come out with a pretty good sytem. Basically the seniors you name who didn't pan out all had very low completion percentages in college.

Everyone else,
I'm sure Bradford has a major insurance policy. Leinart had an Insurance policy and I've heard of other players having them although no names come immediately to mind.

Some kids just enjoy college. I know I did. Maybe thats Bradford. Realistically the difference between 60 million and 40 million to Bradford is probably somewhere between infinitely more money than he has right now and infinitely more money than he has right now. Its possible to make back that money on the second contract if his stock were to drop next year. If he's actually worth the number 1 pick and gets drafted lower(Jay Cutler comes to mind), which may turn out to be the case, then no matter when he comes out hes going to be one of the 3 highest paid players in the league 7-10 years from now. Career wise, I wouldn't risk that scenario if I felt I wasn't ready to put myself in that position.

52
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Fri, 01/16/2009 - 1:00pm

"I'm sure Bradford has a major insurance policy"

Any insurance policy thats going to cover the dropoff after a bad injury ($30+M guaranteed, to late draft) is going to cost millions. I'm sure Bradford doesn't have that to throw around.

36
by Justin Zeth :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 11:15am

Oh, I'm quite aware. The question I was wondering about (and I'm way behind you guys on this) is if there's any evidence that guys that come out early wind up expecting to have a worse (or better) career than guys that don't. The answer so far is... historically so far, very few elite QB prospects have come out early. I suspect that's changing now.

37
by Xeynon (not verified) :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 11:37am

The answer so far is... historically so far, very few elite QB prospects have come out early.

I think this has to do with the fact that historically, very few quarterbacks have had the chance to establish themselves as elite players without staying in school for four years. There's a couple of obvious reasons for this - 1.)The learning curve is a lot steeper even in college - while an elite runner, receiver, lineman, or defensive back can come in and frequently dominate at the collegiate level on day one due to superior athletic ability, an elite QB recruit has to learn the offense his college runs, and 2.)there's only ever one quarterback on the field at a time and it's not a position where platooning or injuries are all that common, so there are fewer starting opportunities available at big time college programs. Even today even blue chip recruits are unlikely to get on the field as freshmen unless they're willing to go to a school with a downtrodden program or they're a member of the Manning, Simms, Griese, or some other famous quarterbacking family.

44
by Jimmy :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 1:18pm

The learning curve is a lot steeper even in college

Sorry to nitpick but steep learning curves are what is always most preferable. A steep learing curve implies that you are learning a lot in a short space of time, a shallow one means it is taking ages for you to learn anything.

Again, sorry, but it is a pet peeve.

38
by coboney :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 11:59am

Also remember the fact of it is that once you leave college - you can never go back. Its not just money, but enjoyment that has to factor into his decision. If he is enjoying college a ton, that is a large factor in his decision I would believe.

There is a Person here as well a football player.

39
by Joe T. (not verified) :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 12:13pm

I have heard rumors that some college football players are also awarded degrees which can be used as credentials to obtain non-football employment. Of course, I don't know how true that is.

41
by Steve (not verified) :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 12:47pm

Maybe he doesn't want to get drafted by the Lions.

42
by Aaron B. (not verified) :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 12:52pm

Quick Question: What is a red-shirt exactly?

43
by SOBL (not verified) :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 1:04pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redshirt_(college_sports)

It's a process to allow a student to practice but not have a year of eligiblity stripped away as long as they do not compete. Medical redshirts are reviewed by the NCAA and can be denied sometimes. A recent medical red shirt I can quickly think of is CJ Gable at USC.

45
by vikinghooper (not verified) :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 1:44pm

Quick question. Bradford's hurry up worked against inferior quality teams, but not so well against Florida.

When the team rushes to the line, then looks at the coaches, aren't they in effect using a coach in the sky to let the QB know what to expect?

How is this football? Call a play, let the QB audible if he is smart, but the preprogrammed coach dominated miasma that was Bradford, sometimes Tebow, and many high schools around where I live looks like the coaches being too involved.

Just my take but in the NFL Bradford would be on his own for the last 15 seconds of the play clock, and he is nowhere near ready.

46
by Francisco (not verified) :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 1:49pm

Isn't there a possibility that a rookie cap will be instituted in the new CBA, and that this upcoming draft is the last one that will be a bonanza for top-10 picks?

48
by Carlos (not verified) (not verified) :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 7:04pm

Good move or bad? Depends on who is optimizing and for what.

For us fans, I can see where some like this move. Lewin aside, more reps in college can only help him get better (assuming he avoids injury).

For Bradford, this is an almost impossibly poor decision. Having survived his season healthy, he trades the certainty of a huge payday for the risks of (1) injury, (2) Brian Brohming, (3) the economy tanking and driving player salaries, especially the guaranteed portion down, and all in pursuit of zero upside. It's like he's making this decision in a complete vacuum.

And as for arguments that he's avoiding the Lions: there are worse fates than throwing to Calvin Johnson.

53
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Fri, 01/16/2009 - 1:17pm

"(3) the economy tanking and driving player salaries, especially the guaranteed portion down"

Football has a salary floor, and IIRC, its only 10M less than the salary cap. Player salaries CANT go down. Bonuses, maybe, but I doubt it. Every franchise in the NFL, including the tiny markets, is a cash cow.

49
by Eastman (not verified) :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 9:43pm

Ask Alex Smith about what coming out too early can do for a career.

54
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Fri, 01/16/2009 - 1:20pm

Alex Smith made $50M dollars.

Theres a better chance, had he waited a year, he gets drafted in the 5th or 6th round, than that staying an extra year turns him into a top 10 starter.

50
by Xeynon (not verified) :: Fri, 01/16/2009 - 3:11am

Sorry to nitpick but steep learning curves are what is always most preferable. A steep learing curve implies that you are learning a lot in a short space of time, a shallow one means it is taking ages for you to learn anything.

Again, sorry, but it is a pet peeve.

You are correct about the literal meaning. But to employ another frequently mis-used phrase, I could care less about literal meaning. :) As any linguist will tell you what a phrase means in common usage is far more important to its being understood than the actual literal meaning of the words that compose it. If I had said "quarterback has a shallower learning curve than other positions" it's quite possible that people would misinterpret what I was saying as contradictory to my point, be confused, or at the very least have to read the sentence a few times before realizing that what I was saying was technically correct, if not the way any native English speaker would normally express the idea. As much more of a stickler for clear communication than literality, I'd prefer to misuse language idiomatically rather than use it properly but confusingly.