Matt Leinart's decision to stay at USC another season will have a number of consequenses - a butterfly effect. We're not talking about a cosmic shift in the universe, sex-change operations or global warming - but the game has changed, the boards are mixed and teams are scrambling to reset their own draft boards.
There will be one less QB in the NFL Draft than most teams had thought. There is little doubt that Leinart would have been the top QB on most team's boards. There are at least a half-dozen teams in search of QB help this season. This year's QB class is left with juniors, Alex Smith (Utah) and Aaron Rogers (Cal) near the top of the list. Charlie Frye (Akron), Kyle Orton (Purdue) and Dan Orlovsky (UConn) will all move up a notch - and will all make more money as a result of Leinart's decision. Do they owe Leinart a bonus?
Drew Brees, Jeff Garcia and Kelly Holcomb may be in search of a signal calling job next season. Again, Leinart would likely have been a starter. One less potential starter means the value of any skilled QB will be increased. The bidding for any QB that comes available will be intense - they'll owe a commission to Leinart too.
The talent remaining in the draft will also benefit finaincially from Leinart's non-move. For years, the NFL has paid their draft picks based on the position each player is drafted. The Top Pick is generally the milestone for the picks that follow. Each player subsequently drafted makes slightly less than the player drafted ahead of him. The result, players like Mike Williams (x-USC), Cedric Benson (Texas) and Antrell Rolle (Miami) will make more money and sign for larger signing bonuses - Thanks Matt!
Our Top Ten at each position are being reconfigured with all the underclassmen that have officially declared themselves eligible for the draft. This is a deep draft at a number of positions and every NFL team should benefit. We promise to bring you the best NFL Draft coverage on the web! Let us know what you think!