The Almighty Dollar


Money, its a gas.
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.
New car, caviar, four star daydream,
Think I’ll buy me a football team.

— Pink Floyd, Money

Over at Walter’s site, Matt McGuire gripes about Aaron Curry’s falling stock. “From now on,” he rants, “no player is good enough.”

Matt, you’re exactly right. But the nitpicking isn’t due to the media.

It’s due to the money.

We’re a week ahead of the draft. Teams have had the combine, the pro days, the private workouts. They’ve looked at endless hours of game film. Final evaluations are being done. Boards are getting locked down.

And for the first time in this entire process, teams holding picks at the top of this draft are finally coming face-to-face with the reality that they are about to hand some college kid Gigantopithecus coin.

As a result, they’re scared sh*tless (h/t WDR for the link) because the money is acting as a lens that’s magnifying every crack in a player’s game or character into a Grand Canyon of doubt.

We saw this happen already with Andre Smith. OMG he acted like an immature young twenty-something at the combine! Well, yeah, and that would probably be attributable to the fact that he is an immature twenty-something. I recall being one myself.

Should this be taken into account? Yes, certainly. Any team that selects him knows he’s going to need extra care and feeding. And for a team like the Bengals, that’s a concern because they aren’t known for their ability to manage players. But the idea that this disqualifies Smith from top 10 consideration is based solely on “do you pay him that kind of money knowing that?” not on “does he have top 10 talent?” The answer to the latter is: duh.

The same thing is going on right now with Curry. Do the Chiefs or Browns pay megabucks for a guy who made his bones working inside? Do the Seahawks, who gave Lofa Tatupu $18 million guaranteed last year and franchised Leroy Hill this year take Curry — meaning they likely lay out more than $50 million guaranteed to linebackers over the course of about 18 months?

Eugene Monroe? At this point, I’ve heard so much about his knees that it’s a wonder he can walk. Did you know Michael Crabtree is just a possession guy? And on and on and on.

This is the money at work. And the strongest argument for a rookie pay scale that could ever be made.