Goodwin, who dabbles as both a wide receiver for the Bills and a track athlete representing the US, finished second behind fellow American Jeffrey Henderson in the competition.
Goodwin’s longest jump was 26 feet and one inch, while Henderson won the event with a jump of 28 feet and one-quarter of an inch. Goodwin, who was cheered on by his wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal, described the moment as “surreal” to ESPN’s Jim Caple.
“I always dreamed of doing this, being able to do track and field and the NFL at the same time,” Goodwin said. “So it’s kind of surreal to have a stage like this and the opportunity to represent my team, the NFL and USA Track and Field.”
Goodwin was a two-time NCAA champion while at the University of Texas and he also competed in the 2012 London Olympics, where he finished 10th. He qualified by winning the the US Olympic Trials with a jump a 27 feet, 4 inches. That distance would have been good enough for a gold medal in London.
Still, he told ESPN that he considers football his number one priority.
“I love long-jumping, and if I’m granted the opportunity without repercussions, then I will pursue it further,” he said, “but I’m obligated to Buffalo Bills football and that’s the main focus.”
Goodwin has made nearly $US1.5 million in NFL salary since getting drafted in 2013.
He was able to participate at the Pan Am Games because it fell perfectly in between the Bills mandatory minicamp, which ended June 18, and the Bills mandatory training camp, which opens July 31. The men’s long jump qualification round at the Pan Am Games was July 21.
If Goodwin attempts to build on his recent success, and compete at the Summer Olympics next year in Brazil, he’ll have a much harder time scheduling it around his football career. Next year’s Olympics take place August 5 — 21, right in the middle of training camp and NFL’s preseason.
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