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Blog Entry

Andrew Luck's making a mistake

Posted on: January 6, 2011 4:17 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli

Earlier today the news broke that Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck was going to return to Stanford next season instead of entering the NFL Draft.  It was a surprise to most, seeing that Luck has been projected as the top pick in the draft, and it seems Jim Harbaugh is on his way out of Palo Alto to cash in on the NFL riches his quarterback is passing up.

In his post on the subject, the honorable Adam Jacobi said that it may not be the wrong decision for Luck to stay in school.  He brought up some good points too, pointing out how college quarterbacks without a lot of starts under their belt have a history of struggling in the NFL.  He even brought up the example of David Carr.  Still, in spite of all that, I'm of the firm opinion that Luck is making a costly mistake to stay in Palo Alto.

There are a lot of things out of Luck's control with this decision that nobody can predict.  Should he have gone on to the NFL, there's no guarantee he'd have succeeded.  Staying in school, there's no guarantee that he'll get through another season or two healthy, or be rated as highly of an NFL prospect ever again.

Here's the one thing we do know about Luck: had he gone to the NFL, he'd have gotten paid.  Not paid like you or I get paid, but "I can't choose between these yachts, so I think I'll buy both of them.  Oh, and the Bentley too," paid.

We don't know what the future of the NFL holds.  There may be a lockout next season, there may not be.  What we do know is that as the top pick in the draft, and a quarterback at that, Luck would have landed a huge deal from the Carolina Panthers.  Look at what Sam Bradford got from the St. Louis Rams with last season, signing a deal with $50 million guaranteed.

$50 million!

All indications are, whether there is an NFL lockout or not, one of the changes the NFL will be making is to put a cap on all rookie contracts.  Which means that the difference between entering the 2011 draft and the 2012 draft could mean around $45 million for Luck.  That's a lot of money to just give away.

Luck is a good quarterback.  Will he be a great quarterback, I don't know.  None of us do for sure.  Still, I really don't think going back to school for another year will really help his chances.  If Luck is destined to be an NFL great, he will put the work in to get better and become one.  If it's not meant to be, it's not meant to be.

Whatever the case is, I'd rather be a failed NFL quarterback with $50 million in my bank account than one with $5 million.  If Luck does become a great player, he'll end up being paid either way.  It's just, in this decision, the risk is not worth the reward for Luck.  Yes, that degree from Stanford will be nice, but football isn't a sport anybody can play until they're 70 years old.  He'll have plenty of time to go back and finish his degree if it means that much to him.

But the opportunity to break the bank, and set yourself and your family up to live comfortably for a few generations doesn't come around very often.  I fear Luck may have just blown his.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 10:27 am

Andrew Luck's making a mistake

You will end multiple phenomenal reasons now there. Used to the seek for that concern and then revealed essentially people will carry exact same assestment utilizing page.

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: January 9, 2011 6:08 pm

Andrew Luck's making a mistake

Nobody can say anything until they see the new CBA agreement. He may be leaving crumbs on the table for all you know.

Since: Jun 9, 2007
Posted on: January 9, 2011 10:17 am

Andrew Luck's making a mistake

I certainly can't be critical of Luck's decision; either way, he's going to do well. He almost certainly will give up a boatload of rookie guaranteed money by waiting but he will probably end up making plenty anyway, as he definitely is the best college - NFL style - QB I've seen since Marino. He will do very well in the NFL.

But were I him, in addition to the $$, I would have heavily considered who would be drafting me now - NC - Vs. who could end up drafting me later, which is a big unknown and would have taken NC now, as they are at least, not a bad organization and there are much worse places to live and play QB than that locale. Yep, I'd take the $50 million and known NC organization now, Vs. waiting, especially with my coach leaving Stanford.

Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: January 8, 2011 10:34 pm

Andrew Luck's making a mistake

Money isn't everything.  If Luck wants to get his degree and stay in school that is his choice.  Over a decade ago Peyton Manning had the opportunity of coming out after his junior year and would have been the #1 overall pick.  He stayed in school enjoyed the experience and came out after his senior year and was still the #1 overall pick.  Collegiate experience is priceless to some.  The Stanford degree, networking, and celebrity status Luck has attained in the Bay Area will make him a comfortable living for the remainder of his life.  Realistically the only way Luck's draft status drops is if he gets a career ending injury.  Even with a serious injury he will get drafted.  Virginia Tech had a great football team this year.  The VA Tech team showed more character than any team I have seen in a long time as they were incredibly resilient in the 2nd half after the James Madison game.  What Luck did in picking apart and moving around and disecting the VA Tech defense showed this guy has talent and its not gonna vanish in one year.

Since: May 2, 2008
Posted on: January 8, 2011 8:42 am

Andrew Luck's making a mistake

@Bobthefan....your response shows your complete lack of logic and understanding of this situation!!!!!(ooops, I did it again)

The Carolina Panthers came out and said they are ready to make Luck the 1st pick of this draft. You said "But I disagree that he will NEVER be a better NFL prospect than he is now.  I'd say he will be just as good, probably better...NEXT year!" Exactly how do you improve your draft status better than the first 1st pick. I'll give you a clue because I know you're struggling with the answer. YOU DON'T.

I didn't say Luck could endure a career ending injury. I said why take a chance on any injury that could impact him being taken first overall. Jermaine Gresham was considered to be a top 10 talent by most pundits before his knee injury issues dropped him to 21st. That cost him $12million in guranteed money. Chase Coffman had a foot injury that dropped him from the 1st round to the 3rd costing him at least $2 million a year. The difference between the 1st pick and the 5th pick is $16 million.

Ironically, Luck doesn't even know who his coach will be next year. If Stanford crashes back to medocrity, how is that going to help Luck? I can't see the future but I have a difficult time seeing Stanford going 12-1 with a BCS bowl win.

But you know Bobthefan, you are right. He should risk millions of dollars to be a 21 year old college boy. Like you said, you only get one chance to be a fool....err, I mean college kid.

Since: Jan 7, 2011
Posted on: January 7, 2011 8:43 pm

Andrew Luck's making a mistake

I have trouble with Tom Fornelli's assessment for several reasons. First, it's pathetic that anyone thinks they can sit in judgement of  someone with the talent and brains of Andrew Luck - If he was smart enough to get into Stanford let's acknowledge that he's probably  well able to make up his own mind about what's best for him. Second, it's not just about the money. He went to college, that place where you go to get an education and not just be a jock with no other job prospects. Who wants to earn big bucks to get knocked around every Sunday, possibly suffer long term physical disability, and work in a profession where the average work life is probably around 7 years. Afterwards what are most of these big, brawney, and sometimes, brainless, men going to do for a living?  It's short sighted to think anyone should short change themselves just for some quick big bucks and a flashy lifestyle. I think he's made the right choice when you look at all the positives - he gets an education, a degree, and the chance of another great year of football. 

Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: January 7, 2011 5:21 pm

Andrew Luck's making a mistake

A careless mistake on Luck's part.
Unless Luck is independantly wealthy and doesnt need the money, this is a bad mistake from a career and financial perspective. If he gets hurt over the next year, football injury, car wreck, gets diagnosed with a mild congenital heart defect, then he loses 50 million dollars.

For those of you touting the value of a Stanford diploma, thats making $500,000 per year for 100 years. Not gonna happen!

It's carelessness and confidence in his own invulnerability.

Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: January 7, 2011 4:27 pm

Andrew Luck's making a mistake

Bringinit: Just because you say it with exclamation points doesn't make you right.  In fact, I disagree with just about everything you said, except the on about earning a degree "later".  It doesn't matter the order that he does it, but obviously he is focussed on life after football.  But I disagree that he will NEVER be a better NFL prospect than he is now.  I'd say he will be just as good, probably better...NEXT year!  (See, I can use exclams, too).  He will not be a top 5 pick this year, but almost certainly WILL be next year.  That could amount to millions of $$$ more if he waits.  Check out Sam Bradford, who came back, was injured, and STILL pulled in $58 million!  (Did it again).  Bradford's case also answers those people who yammer about the possibility of injury...honestly, how many players can you name who have ever suffered a career-ending injury by staying an extra year at the college level?  Off-hand, I can't think of anyone, but there may be an example of that...but it just isn't likely enough to weigh heavily on a player's decision.   Finally, there is an intangible that cannot be measured in dollars, and that is simply that he will never again be a 21 yo in college.  Why not enjoy it while he can?  Once he turns pro, everything changes, and the pressure and expectations escalate exponentially.  Count me as one who thinks he made exactly the right decision for HIM.  I am not saying it would be the right one for every player.

Since: Oct 8, 2010
Posted on: January 7, 2011 10:55 am

Andrew Luck's making a mistake

Yeah, Tom. It's only about the money isn't it? " I'd rather be a failed NFL quarterback with $50 million in my bank account than one with $5 million."
A trite and greedy statement from a sports bozo. Ostensibly,  a degree form Stanford is "just nice" and nothing more. Ridiculous.

Since: May 2, 2008
Posted on: January 7, 2011 8:41 am

Andrew Luck's making a mistake

Are you people serious!!!!!! You can actually see Luck returning as a good thing?????? You are all hypocrities because there isn't a one of you that would turn down $50 million to get a degree. What kills me is you guys act like it's one way or the other. Luck can turn pro now and still earn that magical degree you guys covet over a couple of offseasons.

The bottom line is Luck will NEVER be a better NFL prospect than he is now. He may be a better player in the future from gaining more experience in college but he will never be a better prospect than he is now. It's simple logic. You can't do better than being drafted 1st. Not to mention that John is more than likely bolting for the NFL which is also the right decision for him.

Money may not be the end all do all but you do not throw way chances to set your family up for life. If Luck blows his knee out or has a terrible year, the best he can hope for is third round draft money or a six figure income from his architectual degree. Either would be nice but neither is the guaranteed money he could make as the 1st pick even with a new CBA. Heck, that money could be used to funds his own architect firm down the road.

Rip me if you want but I'm right.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or