January 13, 2003

1,686 yards, 27 touchdowns and a torn ACL,: is taking a chance on Willis McGahee just too risky? We just might be able to count on the Bangels.

posted by Bag Man to football at 11:59 PM - 13 comments

Personally, I'm shocked that he would come out now. If any team uses a first round pick on him, the GM should get canned immediately. It gets me thinking that McGahee is concerned that he won't be able to play at the level he was playing at for one year, so he needs to quickly cash in on the possibility that he will be able to come back healthy. Let's not forget, it wasn't just a torn ACL...it was a total knee reconstruction. Think that won't hinder his play, at least for the foreseeable future? Anybody remember Terrell Davis?

posted by bcb2k2 at 07:30 AM on January 14

Well if you take him in a later round (3rd or 4th...where the picks may or not make the team anyway) and give him an incentive laden contract then he might end up being a steal. But not even the Bengals would be dumb enough to take him in the first round. Maybe the Clippers would, but not the Bengals.

posted by vito90 at 07:56 AM on January 14

This actually makes a lot of sense if you think about it. If he comes out now and a team takes him in the fifth or sixth round they will pay him a low six figure salary and place him on injured reserve. His first option is he can try to recover from the injury for nothing and have to worry about his school work. His other option is he can turn pro and recover under the guidance of some of the best doctors and medical personnel in the world. If he does this he can dedicate himself to recovering while at the same time making money for it.

posted by djej2003 at 08:01 AM on January 14

It's a good decision. His stock is higher now that it will be if he takes over a year to recover, then plays another year at Miami. Someone is bound to take a chance on him in the later rounds, and at least he'll be pulling a paycheck.

posted by corpse at 08:39 AM on January 14

I'm kind of weak on my football, so maybe you all can help me out. If he's drafted and signed but put on IR, does he still get his full salary while he's out of the game? I saw that hit (on TIVO, over and over again), and that kid ain't running anywhere for a while.

posted by Samsonov14 at 09:02 AM on January 14

The only other choice McGahee has is to sit out the year in college. In doing so he'll be watching a handful of incredibly talented backs battle for his spot in the line-up at Miami. And then, when he's recovered he'll have to challenge for the starting job again. In college. So, the choice is between two iffy futures, one with a substantial paycheck and the other without. Hmmmm, what to do? He'll be gone by the fourth round, easy. Sammy: His contract is likely to be low-base, heavily incentivized. This means he'll pull down a few hundred thousand while he's out and make plenty more if/when he returns to the field.

posted by 86 at 10:18 AM on January 14

Damn. What a deal for Willis. If I was him I'd just coast for the year, collect a few hundred grand, and use the money to open up the nation's first bowling alley/strip club. I'd call it The 7-10 Tit. Okay, the name is a work in progress, but regardless it would be sure to attract only the classiest clientele.

posted by Samsonov14 at 10:31 AM on January 14

What effect will this have on the insurance policy he has? Wouldn't becoming a professional invalidate it, even if he is never able to play again?

posted by trox at 11:01 AM on January 14

I think he can play up to 3 NFL games and still cash in, but he has publically said that he won't collect on it.

posted by corpse at 12:07 PM on January 14

This ESPN article goes into why it makes sense (I'm guessing from the posts that a few of you have read it already!). Pretty convincing argument.

posted by swank6 at 05:09 PM on January 14

So, I generally agree with that article, except for the medical advice thing; UM's team surgeon (John Uribe) is also the Dolphin's team surgeon, and guys from the rest of the NFL regularly fly to Miami for him to do their ligament work. And UM touts its medical treatment and facilities to recruits, so there is a reputational effect NFL teams don't have to worry about. So, claims he'll get better medical guidance in the NFL are a stretch. Anyway, otherwise I agree with everything the article claims.

posted by tieguy at 08:16 PM on January 14

Bag Man: first of all, it's Bungles or Ben-GALS. Sheesh! ;) If the Bengals do choose McGahee at the top then they truly have no hope (I say that every year), even with the news of hiring of Marvin Lewis. I was lucky to see the Fiesta Bowl (in a commercial-less pseudo-highlight format on French television) and unlucky enough to see McGahee's injury. I can not imagine him being the same player again. I think he's doing the right thing though by trying for the NFL now and, who knows, he may be the steal of the draft.

posted by 8ighteenAcres at 04:25 AM on January 15

Even so, he will have to come back and fight for his job with Frank Gore, Jarrett Payton, and Tyrone Moss. It makes more sense for him to go to the NFL.

posted by djej2003 at 09:49 AM on January 15

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