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January 6, 2011

Just a day after the Panthers claimed they would not trade the first pick, and the pick that would in all likelihood be Andrew Luck, Stanford’s Quarterback decided he is heading back to school for his fourth year.  Luck is turning down upwards of potentially $60 million guaranteed.  Theres plenty of reasons why Luck wouldn’t want to take his talents to the NFL but come on, $60 mil isn’t something your everyday contract, unless you would be playing for the Carolina Panthers.

First of all, people keep forgetting that there may not be an NFL season next year.  I’ve done two separate presentations in school based on what is happening between the NFLPA and the owners.  Right now its a mess, and an agreement seems miles away.  One hot topic is that the NFLPA would like the rookie salary structure drastically changed because they feel the unproven players are paid too much in comparison to proven veterans.  If Luck isn’t guaranteed he would be drafted, why would he leave school and take the risk?  Luck has made it clear that his degree matters to he and his family.

Second, who wants to play for the Carolina Panthers?  Honestly, any other team within the top 5 has a better resume for a player whether its history, fans, location, or talent.  I myself can only name a few players on the Panthers team off the top of my head; DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Jon Beason, and Steve Smith.  There has already been speculation that the Panthers oldest player and biggest star Steve Smith is preparing to leave Carolina.  The money is the only attractive facet of going from a top 10 college football team, to an NFL bottom feeder who will require at least 3 or 4 years before they contend again.  By that time, who knows if they’ll even exist.

You’ve gotta start thinking that maybe, just maybe, Stanford’s Head Coach Jim Harbaugh will turn down the coaching jobs around the NFL for another shot at winning a PAC-12 championship with Andrew Luck.  The only way Harbaugh does leave, is if an NFL team (which seems to be Miami), offers him a contract so bizarre for a Head Coach, that he can’t refuse it.  As of now he’s looking at around $8 million per year from the Miami Dolphins.  Besides the Panthers, the Dolphins themselves are starting to lack talent with a backfield containing a deteriorating Ronnie Brown, a very high Ricky Williams, and no quarterback.  Plus let’s not forget that Miami still has a Head Coach.

The way I see it, if both Harbaugh and Luck return to Stanford, they each get a shot to stay in the area the next year if they decide to move on to the NFL.  I anticipate the San Francisco 49ers have a pretty dismal year, and based on the history of returning college quarterbacks, Luck won’t find himself as successful next year at Stanford.  However, the NFL and money will always be there, so why not roll the dice and hopefully find yourself drafted by a more talented team next year?  Andrew Luck made the right decision regardless of his performance next season, he’s headed back to college, the greatest time of anyone’s life.  As for the Carolina Panthers, I guess you would just have to call them unLucky.

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