Morning Joe! Should The NFL Change It's Early Entry Policy?

Good Morning My Fellow Bills Fan,

Today's Joe is near and dear to my heart. For year's I've had a bone to pick with the NCAA on how they treat their "Amateur Athletes". But I won't use this particular post to air out my frustrations. I just have a simple question that I would like to get your opinions on.

Should the NFL change or revisit their early entry policy?

The NFL and the Players Union agreed that in order for a player to enter the NFL, he must be three years removed from High School. We have seen this rule challenged by former college greats RB Maurice Clarett and WR Mike Williams after stellar collegiate years. The courts eventually ruled in favor of the NFL, and players must wait the required three years.

Now if either of these players played basketball, baseball, golf, tennis, boxed, they would have been a pro. The NFL claims that they are protecting the player, as physically they won't be able to handle the vigorous pounding of an NFL season. Yet, at 19 former Houston Texans first round draft pick DT Amobi Okoye was drafted. That was because he was 16 when he started college. So it's okay for a 19 year and not a 20 year old? Hmmm.

Charlotte Observer columnist, Tom Soresnen wrote an article about the University of South Carolina star sophomore DE Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney who just turned 20, is 6'6" tall and 256 lbs, was arguably the best defensive player in college last year. So good that Soresnen feels that if he was eligible in this upcoming draft, the Kansas City Chief may consider taking him first overall.

Sorensen also mentions Clowney's teammate, star RB Marcus Lattimore who was having an Heisman type season his sophomore year when he blew out his left knee, and blew out his right knee his junior year. Now he must forgo his senior season in fear of get injured again his senior year. Lattimore pretty much ruined his chances of being drafted in the first round; possibly top 10. He has lost out on the chance to collect millions of dollars, because of these gruesome injuries.

Sorensen suggest, and I agree, that Jadeveon Clowney should sit out his junior year to protect himself from injury. Now there are options for Clowney. He can protect himself from future earnings lost, by purchasing insurance. columnist, Alex Marvez points out some interesting facts:

"Per Marvez, Clowney would be looking for $5 million in insurance. That’s a lot of money, but there are serious flaws in this approach."

First, insurance companies are very good at taking money in. When it comes to paying money out, the pipeline is typically clogged with red tape and exclusions and other stuff that all too often forces policyholders to sue in order to get the insurance companies to do the right thing.

Second, Clowney won’t be buying insurance against a Marcus Lattimore-type injury that simply would knock Clowney from the top of round one to the bottom of round seven. These policies pay money only for career-ending injuries. So Clowney gets nothing unless he simply cannot play football.

Third, $5 million covers only a small fraction of what he’d lose over the balance of an NFL career. Last year, the first pick in the draft (Andrew Luck) signed a four-year, $22.1 million contract, fully guaranteed. And if Luck becomes what the team thinks he will, Luck will eventually get a contract worth $100 million. In comparison, $5 million for a truly career-ending injury during a meaningless college season constitutes a small bag of pressed peanut sweepings.

Third, who’ll pay the premium? Marvez’s article doesn’t mention what it will cost, but it won’t be cheap — given that Clowney plays full-contact football. And unless Clowney’s family has the resources to pay what could be a six-figure premium, the insurance can’t be purchased absent the violation of one or more NCAA regulations

So what do you think Rumblers? Should the policy be changed or revisited? What can current players due to protect themselves from potential earning lost? Is this fair?

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of

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