Like most well orchestrated media ploys, Matt Leinart's decision on whether to declare his intention to enter the NFL draft ended in anti-climactic fashion on Friday. After stringing the media and fans along an extra day or so, the quarterback of the national champions and Heisman trophy winner finally announced his intention to... stay in school.
That's right. Despite being in the enviable position of being as valuable a draft prospect as he could possibly be, Leinart officially decided to return to USC for his senior season. It's easy to get caught up in the nostalgia of the decision but was it a sensible one?
With a couple of teams at the top of the draft board that can use a quarterback in San Francisco and Miami, it would seem that he is most certainly passing up a big pay day. He would have undoubtedly received a huge signing bonus as one of the top 2 draft picks. Will that be available to him in 2006?
Everyone will point to the cozy viewpoint of it being a 'great time' in his life and that he is merely delaying a date with the NFL. But there are no guarantees in football, and the brutality of the sport plucks many players in the prime of their careers.
If someone handed you a $20 Million cheque today, woud you hand it back to them and tell them to see you in a year?