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Posted Dec. 15, 2009

Jake Locker to Return for Senior Season

Washington junior quarterback Jake Locker reportedly decided yesterday he will return for his senior season with head coach Steve Sarkisian. Locker was a projected top-4 draft pick for the 2010 NFL Draft with the potential to earn a $50 million dollar contact had he gone No. 1 overall.

I don't know why Locker is returning for his senior season. At the moment I have both outstanding respect for Locker's integrity and no respect for his intelligence.

Maybe Locker knows money can't buy happiness. My communications professor at the University of Kentucky once said, "Money can't buy happiness, but it can pull your yacht pretty damn close."

Maybe Locker doesn't really care about a $10-30 million difference in his NFL contract. Maybe Locker doesn't really love football. Maybe he doesn't have a lot of self-confidence.

From a football perspective, this just was not a smart decision. The talking heads will say it's great he is returning for his senior year to improve his knowledge of the West Coast offense, but this might not necessarily happen.

What if Locker regresses in his senior year like Brian Brohm, Brady Quinn or Matt Leinart? If this happens, his stock has to go down because scouts are then going to question his potential to learn the position in the NFL. "Maybe he isn't a pocket passer and just a running quarterback."

What if Locker suffers a serious injury like Sam Bradford? General managers might start doubting his durability (he has had issues in the past here) and they might not get the tape they need from him to come to a conclusive opinion on his potential.

What if Washington as a team regresses and makes Locker look worse than he really is? This happens all the time to prospects. Their teammates don't help them out and their draft stock takes a hit.

What if NFL scouts find out some things about Locker that they don't like? What if they start doubting his intangibles or love of the game? You just don't know what could happen.

What if Ryan Mallett, Terrelle Pryor or Nick Foles have stellar junior seasons and Locker looks just average? Locker could be the second or third quarterback taken, which means a big loss of money.

What if the NFL decides to implement a very conservative rookie wage scale? NFL owners want this badly and I believe it will happen - there is no reason not for it to happen. If a deal can be worked out with the NFLPA in which veteran players benefit and receive more of the potential salary cap, it is bound to happen.

What if Locker plays summer league baseball again and this scares off NFL teams, a la Jeff Samardzija? Maybe this is why Locker didn't enter the 2010 NFL Draft.

I'll tell you what Locker's perception is right now: "I can go back for my senior year and learn from my head coach - I'll only get better under him. I won't get injured and only good things will happen for me. The NFL isn't going anywhere and this leaves an option open for baseball too."

People who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. That represents Locker's decision in a nutshell.

I think Jimmy Clausen and his future agent should send Locker and his entourage the world's biggest fruit basket. Clausen is now the heavy favorite to be the first pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Matt McGuire's Recent NFL Draft Blog Entries:

Analyzing Andrew Luck's Decision - 1/7
Luck vs. Locker - 9/15
Top 10 Quarterback Busts - 7/7
NBA Draft vs. NFL Draft - 6/27
Six Sophomores Who Need to Step Up - 6/2
Kentucky 2010 NBA Draft Prospect Blog - 6/1
Brett Favre Retirement Conditions - 5/30
2010 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year - 5/24
2010 NFL Power Rankings Tier - 5/21
2010 NFL Power Rankings - 5/18
NFL Mailbag: C.J. Spiller and Buffalo Bills Reaction - 5/14
LeBron James Game 6 Reaction - 5/14
The Buffalo Bills - 5/13
LeBron James: Celtic Pride - 5/13
The JaMarcus Russell Lesson - 5/11
Most Productive 2010 NFL Rookies - 5/6
Double Down - 4/30
2010 NFL Draft Observations and Telecast Blog - 4/26
2010 NFL Draft Grades: Day 3 - 4/25
2010 NFL Draft Grades: Rounds 1-3 - 4/24
2010 NFL Draft Grades: First Round - 4/23
2010 NFL Draft Trade Analysis - 4/23
Random Round 1 Thoughts and Analysis - 4/23
2010 NFL Draft Class Predictions - 4/22
2010 NFL Draft Trades - 4/21
Response to Mike Mayock's Redskins-Trent Williams Comment - 4/8
Teams Misevaluating Their Own Quarterbacks - 4/6
Where Will Jimmy Clausen Go? - 4/5
2010 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Picks - 3/25
Gerald McCoy's Draft Range - 3/12
NFL Draft Picks Are Business Investments (Anthony Davis) - 3/11
Offense Matters - 3/9
Mel Kiper vs. Todd McShay Debate Revisited - 3/8
Taylor Mays - 3/3
"He's a Winner" ... Not Really - 3/2
Quarterback Height (Jimmy Clausen) - 2/25
The Top Five Reasons the Redskins Won't Pass on Jimmy Clausen - 2/22
2010 NFL Draft: All-Overhyped and Underrated Teams - 2/18
Matt Ryan and the Rams - 2/17
Prospect Case Study: Tim Tebow - 2/11
2010 NFL Draft Offensive Grades - 1/20
Tim Tebow at the Senior Bowl - 1/14
Junior Quarterbacks/Jimmy Clausen - 12/29
2010 NFL Draft Prospect Updates - 12/21
The Michael Oher Lesson - 12/20
Cameron Heyward's Ceiling - 12/17
Jake Locker to Return for Senior Season - 12/15
Top Four Scenario - 12/8
"Suh" is Elite - 12/7
Carlos Dunlap Update - 11/11
Player to Watch - 10/30
Alpha Quarterback - 10/29
2010 NFL Draft Mailbag - 10/28
O Bradford, Where Art Thou (Draft Stock)? - 10/27
The Trojan Torpedo - 10/26
Quarterback Mobility - 10/23
Charles Brown's Stock on the Rise - 10/18
Mays-Clausen and Gaines Adams - 10/17
Mr. Overrated - 10/14
2010 NFL Draft Cursed? - 10/8
Conservative Carroll - 9/22
The Crabtree Lesson - 9/21
Scouting Notes: Weeks 2-3 - 9/20
Terrelle Pryor - NFL QB? - 9/15
Jay Cutler Trade Evaluation - 9/14
THE Choke State University - 9/13
2009 NFL Predictions - 9/10
2009 College Football Predictions - 9/3
The Brett Favre Line - 8/20
Why Vick Hasn't Signed - 8/12
The Vince Young Lesson - 8/10
Vegas NFL Power Rankings - 8/9
Dorsey Fat - Chiefs Stupid - 8/7
Eli Manning: The $100 Million Man - 8/6
Predicting Future Needs Part II - 8/4
NFL Draft Moved - 7/24
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