Some will look at Stanford junior Andrew Luck’s decision to stay in school with awe and appreciation.
They will say that Luck doesn’t care about money, that he loves his college experience and values his education.
That may be true, but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s making the wrong decision.
There are just too many things that could go wrong for the 21-year-old if he stays in school.
The most obvious argument against forgoing the draft is that Luck could get hurt. It may sound like a doomsday scenario, but every year an expected high pick drops out of the first round due to injury, costing him millions.
Another critical factor in Luck’s decision is the looming rookie wage scale. Whenever NFL players and owners reach a new labour agreement, you can bet that a rookie salary cap will be a part of it. If it doesn’t kick in until 2012, the guaranteed money would drop from the asinine $50 million Sam Bradford got this year to somewhere around $15 million. (And Luck isn’t even guaranteed to be the top pick come 2012.)
But even (or especially) if it took effect immediately, Luck and other rookies will need to put in service time as soon as possible, in order to get to that first big free agent contract. Either way, the delay will cost him.
You’ve also got to wonder if Jim Harbaugh leaves, as everyone expects, will Stanford even be good next year? Luck’s stock will never be higher than it is now, and the uncertainty revolving around Stanford’s football program should have made him uneasy about how his senior season will go.
Remember, Jake Locker made the same decision as Luck last year when he was expected to be a top pick. He had a horrible 2010 and the decision cost him millions.
Say what you will about Luck’s admirable values, but the reality is that he’s making a dumb decision. Luck can always go back to get his degree, so kissing goodbye to potentially $35 million or more and gambling on his future for another year at college is stupid, no matter which way you slice it.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.