Daily Whimsy (1/16) - The Sanchez Situation
USC QB Mark Sanchez
USC QB Mark Sanchez
Posted Jan 15, 2009

Why it really is a no-brainer for Mark Sanchez to go pro early ... even against his coach's advice.

Fiu's Daily Cavalcade of Whimsy

The Sanchez Decision ... Jan. 16

a.k.a. Frank Costanza's Festivus Airing of the Grievances ... or the obvious attempt to keep readers coming to the site on a regular basis during the off-season.
By Pete Fiutak   
What's your beef? ... Fire off your thoughts  

This Week's Whimsies:  
Monday - The NFL Playoffs vs. The BCS

Past Whimsies:  
- Why Florida really is No. 1
- The Jagodzinski situation
- Auburn's big coaching moves
- 10 Reasons Why Fla Will Win
10 Reasons Why OU Will Win
- The Andre Smith suspension
- NFL Mock Draft (top 10 picks)
- Holiday Wish List For All 119 Teams

- Chizik, Gill, & the Race Card
- Why Paterno isn't too old

Past Whimsies

- 2008 Season
2008 Preseason Cavalcade
- 2007 Season
- 2006 Season

And we all know how well sticking around worked for Leinart ... Of course Pete Carroll knows what he's talking about when it comes to knowing what a player needs to do to go pro, but he's missing the point on Mark Sanchez.

Yeah, the statistics aren't great when it comes to early entry quarterbacks and success at the next level, but the statistics aren't great when it comes to all quarterbacks at the next level. More importantly, when it comes to Sanchez and his business decision, it's all about the dollars ... and it should be. You can't go out and sell USC as a pro prospect factory and then dog the idea of hitting the marketplace at the dead-on right time. 

Let's say Sanchez doesn't have it when it comes to being an NFL quarterback. So? He'll be a multi-millionaire as an almost certain first round draft pick, while all bets are off next year when Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, and Tim Tebow are in the mix. Even if Sanchez doesn't turn out to be a top ten pick, if he slides like Brady Quinn did two years ago, at worst, he should come up with a contract that'll be guaranteed at least $10 million. Will Carroll guarantee that kind of money if Sanchez came back, struggled a bit, and became another Andre Woodson? You have to strike when you're hot, and right now, Sanchez is sizzling.

It's all about timing. 2005 was a miserable year for quarterback prospects, with teams not looking to take one early, which is why Aaron Rodgers slipped to Green Bay in the mid-first round. Even so, Utah's Alex Smith went No. 1 overall and signed a deal worth $24 million in guaranteed dough without playing a snap. Matt Leinart was a near-certain lock to be that No. 1 overall pick had he chose to come out early, flaws and all, coming on the heels of a Heisman, a national title, and as the type of player who seemed perfect to fit the Niners. Instead, Leinart came back for his senior year, slipped in the 2006 draft, and signed a deal guaranteed to get him $14 million.

That's tip money compared to what Sanchez could make. If he comes out and wows everyone in workouts, it wouldn't be a total shock if he went No. 3 overall to a Kansas City team desperate for a franchise passer. If he doesn't go to the Chiefs, he could go to San Francisco at the 10, the Jets at 17, the Bears at 18, Tampa Bay at 19, Detroit at 20, Minnesota at 23, or Miami at 26. In other words, there are several chances in the first round for Sanchez to go. Let's say Carroll is right and Sanchez does need a year of seasoning. Why not get that work in at the next level and get paid for it? Meanwhile, USC will plug in Mitch Mustain or Aaron Corp and the machine will roll on.

And lets say Sanchez does go No. 3 overall to KC. Last year, Matt Ryan got $34.75 million of guaranteed money as the No. 3 overall pick. OT Joe Thomas got $23 million guaranteed from Cleveland as the 2007 No. 3 pick, and Vince Young got $25.7 million guaranteed as the 2006 No. 3 selection. Ryan signed a six-year, $72 million deal last year. You still think it's all about giving it the old college try?

We all want this to be about the game, but it's a business. Don't think so? That Chevy logo next to USC on the background of the Sanchez press conference wasn't just there for decoration.

Of course Sanchez made the right move.