This is Matt McGuire's NFL Draft blog, where he'll talk about the NFL Draft, anything that has to do with football and whatever else is on his mind. Send Matt an e-mail here: email@example.com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.