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Senquez Golson's Decision to Play Football is Looking Smart

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Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Much was made of Senquez Golson's decision to turn down a seven figure offer from the Boston Red Sox to play baseball and bypass his college football career. That's obviously a lot of money, Golson was joining a college football team that wasn't very good, and his size could have been a hindrance in his quest to make it to the NFL. Many people thought it was a stupid decision. I, in fact, thought he was likely making a poor choice.

Fun with Numbers

Fast forward four years, and Golson is projected to go between the 2nd and 3rd rounds of this year's NFL draft. Since we know that Golson turned down $1.35 million four years ago, it's important to look at what he stands to make if drafted where he's projected. Because of the new rookie wage scale, there's not much negotiation, so we can extrapolate what he's likely to be paid.

According to Spotrac.com's salary specifications, if Golson had been the first player drafted in the second round last season, he would have signed a four year contract with $5.5 million contract with $3.9 million guaranteed. Had he been the last player drafted in the third round, he would have signed a four year $2.7 million contract with $500,000 guaranteed. So if drafted around his projection, his contract would end up somewhere between those two numbers.

So while you shouldn't read too much into this number because it's very inexact, the average pay (solely examining those two numbers) he can expect would be $4.1 million with $2.2 million guaranteed. So... yeah. That's more than his offer from the Red Sox.

Is that it?

It would be simple to say that since Golson's expected salary is higher than he was offered by the Red Sox, he made the right choice. I think that's simplifying his situation even more than this hastily written article does, though.

I think it's important to look at potential as well. Golson was drafted by Boston in the eighth round because they saw some projectable tools he had, namely his elite speed. The trouble is that Golson was very, very raw. It was difficult to know whether he would ever be able to consistently hit the baseball. Rebel fans saw that during his time in Swayze. While his career started hot, it quickly got very difficult for Senquez to get on base. Would that be different with minor league coaching? Maybe. Maybe not.

Is not as if Senquez was a sure thing to ever get a contract past his first. He was a project. Most of those don't work out in major league baseball.

In football, he's not really a project. Sure, he's smaller than what teams want in most corners, but his coverage skills are exceptional, and he is rarely found out of position. I can say with at least some level of certainty that Golson will survive in the NFL long enough to garner a second contract (which is when players make truly great money). I can't say the same for what his baseball prospects were. It seems, if things go as planned in the NFL draft, that Senquez Golson made a great choice.