I spent much of the weekend watching the NFL Combine on the NFL Network. When you know who the players are, it’s actually pretty compelling television. Why? Because, for some people, fortunes are made or lost here.
But just like the NFL Draft, I found out that the greatest drama and intrigue isn’t what is happening, it’s what is not happening. It started with the top wide receiver Michael Crabtree sitting out because a stress fracture in his foot and it didn’t get any crazier than Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith leaving the Combine without telling anyone.
It’s one thing to decide to sit out because you are clearly out of shape, as Smith was, it’s another to “go missing.” Before Smith missed the Sugar Bowl because of dealings with an agent, many people had him as the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft.
But for a guy who admitted he became a left tackle because his father told him in the sixth grade it was going to be the highest paid position, Smith might have cost himself the most “Benjamins” we’ve ever seen with only two months to go before names are called.
Figure Smith would have pulled in a guaranteed $30 million as the No. 1 pick of this year’s draft. We think that’s fair considering last year’s No. 1 pick Jake Long was an offensive tackle like Smith and we’re accounting for the fact that the economics of the game might not provide for the usual bump that happens each year.
This morning, Peter King told "The Dan Patrick Show" that, as of now, Smith is down to the bottom of the first round. So let’s see how much Smith could have lost.
Let’s put Smith as the fourth offensive tackle taken behind Jason Smith, Eugene Monroe and Michael Oher. Since so many teams took offensive tackles last year in the first round, we’ll put Smith as going to the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 28.
The 28th pick last year was Lawrence Jackson, who received $6.1 million in guaranteed money. We’ll give Smith the benefit of the doubt here and say he’ll get similar guaranteed money to what Duane Brown got at No. 26 last year ($6.2 million).
If it goes down like this, Smith would have lost $23.8 million.
Who knows if this will happen. Smith could recover during his pro day and could jump back into the fray. But one thing is for sure, his flake out this weekend definitely means he’s not going No. 1 anymore.
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