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06 Jan 2011
Quarterback Andrew Luck will return to Stanford for his junior season.
Maybe he wants to bump up his Lewin Career Forecast projection.
Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 06 Jan 2011
87 comments, Last at
03 Sep 2011, 6:14am by
In his statement, he does mention his architectural design degree which he will be finished with after next year. Not an easy degree, and from Stanford, definitely valuable.
Valuable, but worth more than the salary of a top-3 draft pick before the new CBA caps rookie salaries?
Actually I believe this year is effected. While the draft happens they can't sign until the new CBA is reached. So... if I do recall this right it does make a lot of sense as he gets to get his degree, have another year at college, and find out what the market will be.
The correct answer is "No one knows who is affected" because there is no agreement yet.
Also, I'm not sure this is the right decision. Even if this year is capped with a rookie wage scale, so will next year. And he'll be missing out on a year of NFL salary. The back-up plan, pursue your degree thing is ridiculous. He could get injured in college and miss out on tons of money; he's passing up a year of salary; he's a virtual lock in the top 3, if not the #1 overall; even if he tanks as an NFL player, he'll have millions guaranteed and could surely finish his degree then.
The point of getting a degree is largely to secure yourself a comfortable living. Playing in the NFL can do that, and it's not a year away, it's now if he wants it. If it was to expand his worldliness, that's great and all, but that can be done outside of a college setting, or at school and off of a degree plan.
One overlooked angle here I think is his father's influence, which I can't properly gauge. But his father is a former NFL QB, a former director of the Houston Sports Authority, former president and GM of an MLS team, and is the athletic director at West Virginia. It's easy to paint a scenario where Oliver Luck has inside knowledge of the NFL-NFLPA negotiations. I'm not sure what Oliver Luck knows, but it seems to be an unexplored facet of this story.
There is no CBA right now. None of the next group of draft picks are getting a contract until another one is signed. Which is probably why Luck decided to stay in school.
Is it possible that he's bright enough to know:
- If he's good enough to be a franchise QB, he's going to be good enough to be one next year, even if he drops down the draft order, something which a) might have less financial implication than it does now and b) might land him with a considerably less dysfunctional team than the one drafting first.
- This might cost him a lot, even under a better rookie scale, but he's still going to be very rich, by any rational standards. Especially if he's a franchise QB.
- Injury could screw with both of these, meaning he never gets the franchise QB money, and that's a risk he'll take. After all, as a Stanford-trained architect, he'll still spend his life very rich, by any rational standards.
- Believe me, I like money a lot, but I can absolutely see how if your financial floor is being very comfortable and doing something you really like doing, that changes your options radically, and maybe you don't think of it in terms of pure financial maximisation.
Do you know many architects? It's not a terribly lucrative profession for most people, even with Ivy degrees. Sounds like Luck doesn't want to play for Carolina, or maybe he's just enjoying school
I know a few people with architecture degrees. Only a couple are still architects. All of them are doing well enough to be called comfortable, most of them are doing better than that.
The ones who are at all like I expect Andrew Luck is are doing very well indeed, in architecture or out of it. I would be staggered if he doesn't earn a lot of money doing whatever he does. Wouldn't you be? Seriously? Even if it isn't NFL money.
So I just heard that his father's the AD at West Virginia or something, so apparently money isn't a big concern.
Makes more sense now. Perhaps he's just trying to avoid going to Carolina?
I second the :(. Its dissapointing only if the niners had gotten him. I am now hearing that Harbaugh will end up in Miami and that Mcdaniels is high on th eniners list, I hope its him they end up with as I think he will end up being a better coach than Harbaugh as long as he sticks to coaching and leaving everything else to the GM. The only question after that is who will be the niners QB.
I'd much rather have Harbaugh as a head coach than Shinebox McDaniels even though I do think McDaniels does have a very good handle on how to run the modern spread.
Actually, Alex Smith is probably a perfect McDaniels quarterback.
I totally agree, I've thought for a while that the Pats might actually be interested in signing Smith as a backup but that sort of statement doesn't usually go down very well round here.
wow... this makes no sense to me
Cue the naysayers in three... two... one... oh, nevermind, I'm already too late.
It could work out as poorly as Matt Leinart. Or it could work out as well as Peyton Manning. Most likely it will work out somewhere in between.
It could also work out as poorly as Drew Brees. Or Brian Brohm. Alternatively, declaring now (but for CBA issues) could work out as well as Michael Vick. Or Alex Smith.
I get that your point was about quality of play, not money, but I highly doubt another year at Stanford is going to have much effect on the success of Andrew Luck as an NFL QB. Another year at Stanford could have a great effect on the sucess of Andrew Luck as a NFL Draft Prospect, and he's got nowhere to go but down.
I agree completely that his draft stock can at best stay the same.
But him as a successful NFL QB? Another year to mature. Another dozen games of experience. I can't see where any of that will hurt him on the field.
And in the meantime, he gets one more year of his childhood. For some people, that may be worth more than $15 million. It may be priceless. I can't fault him for clinging onto something that, once it's gone, can never be regained.
This may be the rare case when an atlete says "it's not about the money" and is telling the truth.
How would a year of experience as an NFL player hurt him? How would that stunt his maturity? As good as another year of playing at Stanford may be for his NFL preparation, there's no preparation like the real thing. He could prepare for being an NFL quarterback by being, you know, an NFL quarterback.
"How would a year of experience as an NFL player hurt him?"
It wouldn't, if he actually got it. That's not guaranteed. Not only is there an outside but non-zero possibility of a full-season lock-out which would leave him in full-on football limbo, there is an extremely high probability of a severely truncated pre-season programme, which would deny him the time to learn a new offense and get up to pro speed in time to see meaningful playing time. I think it's hugely unlikely that any quarterback drafted in 2011 will be starting on before his team's bye week, at the earliest. The CBA makes it very likely he'd get more overall practice time and a lot more game time in college than in the NFL.
Elephant in the room: Andrew Luck wanted no part whatsoever of the Carolina Panthers franchise.
So instead he'll go to a stable, successful franchise picking #1 overall next year?
This makes perfect sense. No one next year will probably be as bad as the Panthers, so why not take a year and see where he'll end up rather than hitching his wagon to an awful, awful team?
Um, Buffalo anyone?
But seriously, why would he leave school to head for a possible lockout?
"No one next year will probably be as bad as the Panthers"
Really? The team with the #1 pick is usually in fairly bad shape talent-wise and/or coaching-wise. Yeah, you might get lucky and catch a team like the 04 Chargers or 98 Colts right before they take off. More likely you go to a terrible team that continues to be terrible, at least for a few years. Being the #1 pick comes with the assumption that you're going to a bad team. The '10 Panthers are bad, but I don't get the impression that they're downright dysfunctional, like the Raiders, Bengals, Millen-era Lions, etc. A #1 overall pick could certainly do worse.
But the Panthers are not awful across the board. Their defense is decent (16th in DVOA), their special teams are half-decent (19th), their O-line is half-decent (remember that Jeff Otah missed the season and J Gross was coming back from serious injury), and their RBs are downright good. Their huge glaring problem is that they absolutely cannot pass the ball. They have no NFL-caliber QBs and 1 NFL-caliber WR on their roster.
Luck solves the QB problem (presumably) so if they can get their hands on some WRs Carolina will be a decent destination for him.
This is exactly what I was thinking.
I'm sure he'll take out an insurance policy before next season, just in case of injury.
He'll still be playing even if the NFL is locked out, so he'll continue to get reps and experience when other younger quarterbacks might not have that luxury.
The lack of a CBA now means it really isn't any less money next year compared to this year. If anything, because of the slotting and increasing salary, he'd probably get more at the top of the 2012 Draft.
Lastly, the situation in Carolina just isn't that good. It's a franchise that's noticeably cheap, doesn't have a second round pick to draft a top receiver with, and has some degree of tumult with the coaching staff. Might as well wait a season.
Where is a college kid going to (legitimately) get the money to afford to pay for an insurance policy that will pay out even what his bonus this year would have been?
If I’m his family’s financial advisor, I’m taking out an 8-digit insurance policy to protect against injury. I might even pay extra if there’s a way to protect against performance related concerns on the off chance that everything goes to heII at Stanford next year.
I don’t know what the premium on such a policy would cost, but it would be peanuts compared to what he’d make in the NFL or on the policy if he needs to use it. Even if his family can’t afford the policy, any banker with any smarts whatsoever would lend him the money. If I’m a banker, I would. If you lend him the money, there’s a chance that you’re starting a relationship with a lucrative client. If you don’t lend him the money, you can be assured you won’t be doing any business with him in the future, either. And he’ll be able to pay back the loan in a year no matter what.
Really, "My name is Andrew Luck, and I want to borrow some money to take out an insurance policy against risk of injury harming my draft stock" - that's close to the safest loan I can imagine. Either he doesn't get injured and (presumably) gets enough money to repay the principal, even if his draft stock plummets, or he gets injured, gets paid out, and repays the principal.
You think banks provide insurance?
And given the details of the CBA are not known it'll be harder to get insurance.
Plus, let's say the percentage is 5%. Even with an injury probability of 0%, his expected income is now .95* instead of 1.0*. 5% of $Texas is a lot.
No, banks provide loans to people who they think are likely to repay them with interest. As outlined above, Andrew Luck would be extremely likely to repay such a loan. Lending money to Andrew luck is an excellent business proposition.
His dad is the AD at West Virginia and a former football player himself. I'm sure they have the bank to afford a good policy.
Insurance policies like this (outside of the sports world) are basically "If you get your payday, we get a percentage. If you don't, you get X dollars." No up front money needed.
I'm pretty sure there's some British insurance company that'll insure anything. I had heard stories of players insuring their legs or throwing arm.
I think you mean Lloyds of London.
I thought that was the name, but wasn't sure. Sounds like the male equivalent of Frederick's of Hollywood.
I read on one of the Panthers' chat rooms that the NCAA helped pony up the insurance money.
So he can be drafted by Carolina with the number 1 pick the following year? If they are as bad as everyone says then they'll more than likely be in the exact same spot next year.
Behind The Powerful Right Arm of Jimmy Clausen they'll... oh, maybe you're right.
But they'll have their second round pick next year. And another year's worth of talent brought in...
The quality of receiver at 33 is a lot better than at 65. Or wherever Carolina would have chosen someone to play across from Steve Smith. The only way the Panthers would have acquired an earlier pick this upcoming draft is if they franchised DeAngelo Williams and found someone willing to give up a decent pick for him.
Yeah, and he'll forgo a year's salary, he'll be a year further away from free agency, and his team will lose a whole year's worth of free agent players.
"year. If anything, because of the slotting and increasing salary, he'd probably get more at the top of the 2012 Draft."
Are you kidding me? Reducing the salary/bonuses of the top 5-10 picks is pretty much the whole point of slotting.
There is no CBA this year, so the lower salary will take effect right away. And the price for each draft slot increases into the next year, even if it's modest. If they factor in the cost of living adjustments from the consumer price index, he will be getting more money.
I'm willing to guarantee that the first pick in 2012 makes more than the first pick in 2011...
I could be wrong, but I remember reading somewhere that the upcoming draft is goverened by the current CBA, and that no slotting could go in to 2012.
Haven't their been conflicting reports on this? I guess I'll just wait for Florio or someone with the legal background to say if this class would be grandfathered past a new CBA.
The draft is, but not any kind of salary structure. Teams aren't required to sign draft picks to a contract anyways. No team is going to be stupid enough to give out multimillion dollar bonuses when there will probably be a lockout and a chance at salaries reduced.
My understanding is that this type of insurance policy only pays out in case of a career-ending injury. So if he suffers a severe injury (e.g., a torn ACL, a torn labrum, etc.) that doesn't end his career but impairs it enough that he ends up going later in the draft than he would if he were fully healthy, he won't see a dime of insurance money.
As someone posted above, his dad is West Virginia AD and former NFL QB Oliver Luck, so the family surely can afford such a policy. And even if they couldn't, my understanding is that the NCAA allows players to take out loans to pay the premium on such policies. But make sure you don't sell any memorabilia to pay the premium on the policy.
It would be staggering if an insurer wasn't willing to negotiate the terms of a policy like this on an individual basis. Insuring against a serious but not career-ending injury might raise the premium significantly, but I've no doubt it would be possible (and prudent).
You are correct, although such policies appear to be rare. This article from 2009 has a good discussion of insurance policies for NCAA football and basketball players:
The type of policy you mentioned is discussed on the second page.
Interesting article. Makes sense that such policies would only be available to (or arguably even desirable for) the very highest tier of prospects, but I think it would be foolish for someone like Luck not to take out such a gap policy, as opposed to the common or garden variety.
Incredibly bad decision by Luck.
1) That's $15 million he'll never get the chance to earn, no matter what classes he takes
2) He could have a bad year
3) He could get injured.
I totally support this decision on his part.
Hard to kill a guy for deciding he likes school and wants to finish his education rather than take the money at the first opportunity, but geez this looks like a really bad idea.
Going back to school, this makes him the #2 QB prospect behind Matt Barkley, right? I watched Barkley duel Locker and Luck in back to back weeks and look as pro ready as Luck and light-years ahead of Locker (plus he has a stronger arm).
I don't think he's behind Barkley. In fact, Barkley would have to really exceed his recent performance just to make it a conversation. He has ability, but no more than Luck. Barkley still has an longer delivery, and Luck is probably even more pro-ready.
Also, the recent performance of USC quarterbacks might not favor Barkley going first overall.
We can agree to disagree. Barkley is a true soph, younger, and if he had red shirted as USC planned if Sanchez had stayed, as a 3rd year soph like luck was this year, he'd have looked comparable. It will be Barkley's 3rd year in the college game next year, and that is a year many QBs make a big leap.
Recent performance of USC QBs? You mean winning starting jobs, making the playoffs and pro bowls? I love how Palmer, Cassel and Sanchez are tainted with "bad performance" because of Leinart's flame out. Yes, Palmer looks near done, but would his injuries have anything to do with that? I know Sanchez is a punching bag for FO, but I'd take him & Cassel over many other NFL QBs. Heck, I remember when Eli was the NY QB punching bag for FO. It wasn't until the season after Eli's great SB run that he got respect.
No, you're right, GMs would rather take chances covnerting spread offense QBs than employ QBs who play like Palmer, Cassel and Sanchez.
If you had said ND QBs, I would have agreed with you.
Sanchez isn't there yet. Palmer was really only at that level for a season before his knee got blown up. And more people credit the Patriots for Cassel's development than all the sitting he did at USC.
Being a year younger for a player on his first contract means nothing. If they come out the same year, they'll sign similar contracts in length. The question becomes who is most NFL-ready, and every hyperbole about Luck that's out there is about how NFL-ready he is.
The point is that there isn't anything right now that Barkley does better than Luck. Unless he truly makes a drastic leap forward next year, then Luck should still be the better prospect.
Edit: Luck does have that annoying half-lisp. So I guess Barkley talks better, and probably plows through top-notch co-eds. But that's not really an NFL measurable.
If it were, Leinart would be an all-Pro.
Look being an NFL QB is lucrative as all hell, but being the BMOC at a major university? Thats FUN. I respect a guy who chooses living his life over the paycheck.
I second this. You only get one chance in life to be 21 and in college. Not everybody defines success or failure by money alone. Experience and quality of life is worth a lot.
It seems sad to me to suggest that for someone with the gifts that a Luck or Leinart have, that their senior year of college would be the high point of their life, and as such they should be loathe to give it up, and perhaps even admire them for refusing to give it up. Really ? Is 9 months of nailing every Mary Jane Rottencrotch in NorCal or SoCal that big a deal ? I mean presumably that's what they've been doing anyway. If your dream is to play in the NFL, to win the Super Bowl, you're going to put that on hold for 9 more months of what you've been doing already ? I think Leinart was more in love with the idea of being a football player, than actually being a football player. I'm not sure that applies to Luck as their are some extenuating circumstances with the possible lockout, etc. and I suppose he could still change his mind, but if he really stays in school for another year just for the "college experience" I would seriously wonder if he would follow the Leinart career path.
Changing the topic for a second, if you're the Panthers, why wouldn't you try to convince Luck to steer himself into the Supplemental Draft. Then Carolina picks #1 takes whoever, and still gets Luck in the supplemental(giving up their 2012 #1). It seems like a win-win, Luck comes to a stronger team, and the Panthers get the top 2 available players. There's got to be a catch, is the Supplemental Draft order the same as the regular draft order ?
That sort of collusion would probably lead to pro football's version of the SMU death sentence.
And it is impossible for an agent to find leverage in a supplemental rookie deal as the slot from which they negotiate isn't regarded the same as the regular draft.
No one said that college was the high point of their life. The point was, you can only be young and in college once and wanting one last year of it isn't nothing to be ashamed of.
Also, being an NFL player kind of sucks, most of them hate their job.
It's certainly nothing to be ashamed of, but I do believe it reveals a lot about priorities. If I'm an NFL Exec I want a guy who lives, eats and breathes football, anyone who would delay and risk a multi-million dollar payday and an NFL career for a few more months of being BMOC ain't that guy.
Especially so soon after Leinart tanked following exactly that warning sign.
Although I'm inclined to attribute this to the uncertainty of the 2011 season; if he's holding back specifically because NFL players might not actually play any football next year, that's a good thing.
Leinart may have tanked, but P Manning also held out a year. I think Manning may be a better comparison as both are sons of NFL QBs and both had a degree as an important goal in attending college (Manning got his degree in three years). Leinart also did get a degree. But since he only needed a ballroom dancing class to graduate his last year, I have to wonder just how difficult it is to get a degree from USC.
I would never sleep with anyone named Mary Jane Rottencrotch and I doubt Andrew Luck would, either.
So I guess your days of fingerbanging Mary Jane Rottencrotch through her purdy pink panties can't be over, 'cause they never were there to begin with?
Well, he can still tap all the coeds he wants after he graduates. I'm sure Big Ben can give him some pointers.
Though it helps that he's not poor; Luck will be just fine if he never plays a down in the NFL, so he's in a somewhat different situation than the average potential top-5 draft pick.
Lucky Stanford. Will they be better next year vs this year?
I guess Carolina will be pushing hard for a full-year lockout then.
Elephant in the room -- isn't Harbaugh leaving? Who's to say the new coach will be as good at showcasing Luck as Harbaugh was? Or conversely, is this a hint that perhaps Harbaugh is staying?
In any case, if I'm a prospective #1 overall pick, I don't pass that up to come back for a final season without even knowing who's going to be the coach.
I tend to think that this decision is only defensible if Harbaugh is returning. Otherwise, the chances of a performance drop are far too high.
I've considered this also, although I'm a bit more cynical. News of Andrew Luck returning came about the same day Harbaugh was revealed to be seeking $7+ mil a year. It's highly unlikely, but how awesome would it be if Harbaugh told Luck to announce that in order to send Harbaugh's suitors into a tizzy? Nothing is really holding Luck back from changing his mind.
Luck was worried about a lockout and missing both the college and the NFL season. Cue one idiot owner who is in charge of the CBA negotiations: "We are far apart on an agreement and will most likely have a lockout next year". Result=Luck staying in school.
I've been a Panther fan since they were created, but I think this is the last straw. Richardson has always put the interests of the NFL above the interests of the Panthers. We're the only team with the NFL logo instead of a Panther logo on our field. He deliberately set about last year to gut the roster of all long-term contracts and slash costs so that he can tell the NFL players association that he will make money if there is a lockout, which since he is the one deciding that, there will be a lockout.
He hadn't given a press conference since Fox was hired 9 years ago. He gave one a couple of days ago which was incoherent, self-contradictory and self-destructive. He scared Luck into returning to school which was the one hope for this franchise. He has surrounded himself in his dotage with yesmen, firing his sons who dared to disagree with him, and replacing them with cronies. A lot of fans are more upset than I am. Unless Richardson has the good grace to die I don't see the Panthers staying in Charlotte over the long term. The fans have had enough.
God, I knew this team choosing a black cat logo would come back to haunt us sometime. As if the top prospect being named Luck wasn't bad enough..
So I guess if it wasn't for bad luck, the Panthers would have no Luck at all.
Ding ding ding! We have a winner!
Well, I'm going to be the sole football fan who is happy to see a player finish out college because he values his degree. Yay, education!
As Luck's dad said, "It's a Rorschach test for people's values system,"
Andrew Luck values a Stanford Degree, his sister is a freshman volleyball player there and he is loyal to his recruiting class. Sounds like education, family and friends are very important to him.
See the article.
Are you suggesting that getting $50 million guaranteed and playing QB for the NFL somehow precludes family, friends and education?
Some people are not greedy little bastards you know. Maybe he wants to stay an extra year and be with his close friends.Maybe he wants that Standford degree asap and knows if he leaves, he'll probably never go back. I heard this guy is extremely humble. Even if he does poorly, he'll still make a lot of money.
Crazy! I am a pro athlete and only wish I was offered that kind of money!
He could take on line classes and get his degree. Or down the road go to school. In football it is a 'short lived' career. I would have gone for the offer and choose whatever else down the road!
I live very simply as a female athlete. But money is power and with it you can have whatever you need in life!
When it comes to No. 1 corners, a familiar name was No. 1 in 2014.
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