Ok first things first. What a season! Not quite what we had hoped for after the build up, but miles ahead of what we thought going in. 2010 was made possible by a team effort and kudos to all the hard work that everyone put in. In football though, everyone's hard work can be all for not if the captain of your ship doesn't perform(insert your own jokes here). We saw a good example of that in watching a Nebraska team that destroyed a mediocre Washington team earlier this year,56-21, turn around and lose to the same team 19-7. Granted, I'm oversimplifying here but Im pointing the finger at you Taylor Martinez.
OSU's Million Dollar Man however, looked like his usual self throwing "strikes" to his go to guy in the Alamo bowl and led OSU to its first ever 11 win season, Alamo bowl win, and blog on SBNation.com. None of these things would have been possible without Brandon Weeden.
Now he has a big "Decision" to make. Jump with me to take a closer look.
The Pros of Not Going Pro
Brandon Weeden is not called "The Million Dollar Man" for nothing. Sam wouldn't hire the P.I. I wanted to get to snoop through Weeden's financial records and garbage so we don't know for sure how much this old guy has but it's safe to say he wont be selling any of his jerseys or school property for extra cash. I'm not saying NFL money doesn't interest him, but I believe he is pretty well off and not in the same boat as a lot of talented kids wanting to get in the league and make fat stacks ASAP. I've heard he is projected as a 4th round pick so if that holds true it's not rock star money we are talking about anyway.
Another big thing to consider is though Weeden is something like 34 years old(may need fact checking) he has only played 13 1/2 games. He makes good decisions, has a cannon for an arm, but still needs a lot more reps and refinement before he is ready for the big time. Fact is he would probably get more attention and experience on a OSU team playing for a conference championship, rather than taking reps as a 3rd stringer on a NFL team. If there is even an NFL next year. A lot of talk about lockouts keep coming up, personally I think they will come to an agreement now that the NFL is something like 24% of our country's GDP, but a lot of talking heads are worried about this.
Another year in Orange could move Weeden up from a 3rd/4th rounder to a top 25 overall pick. I'm no expert on the NFL but I think there is a small pay difference there. Think about it if Weeden is able to put up numbers even close to this year and more importantly if OSU is able to get over the hump and make it to a BCS bowl or "someone hold me" even a MNC game - we could start sending in copies of Weedens draft stock to Cash4gold.
The Cons of Not Going
We all keep hearing about Weeden's age being a factor. Granted, he is no spring chicken and has a limited number of seasons left in the NFL, but in reality what's one more year? Is there a cutoff point at 28 but not 27?
It would be beneficial to start working his way up a NFL roster sooner rather than later but if you're Weeden you have to ask yourself is another year getting experience as a starter more beneficial, or is taking reps as an NFL 3rd stringer?
Risk is always involved in any athlete's decision. Weeden does risk injury playing another year, but since as of right now his draft stock isn't super high he isn't risking as much as Sam "Hero of the Sooner Nation" did. Sam came back, severed off his arm. Put it back on. Severed it off again, and then still got drafted number 1. One of the biggest reasons I could see Weeden leaving is because Dana left. If he doesn't trust whoever is going to be running the offense next year that could lead to a early bolt for the league. Right now this is all still in question, and I think as soon as we hear who will be calling plays in Stillwater next year we will get a definite answer from the QB.
We have heard reports that Blackmon is staying and I think that also is a big factor in Weedens decision if its true. I wont go into great detail but I believe all the coaches and people close to the university believe Blackmon needs one more year to develop and then could be a top 10 overall pick. If he were to go it would be another reason Weeden might enter the draft. Call me a homer but I honestly believe they are going to stay another year.
In my humble opinion the good just outweighs the bad here. If one or both go we shouldn't hold it against them.
I hope Weeden is happy with whatever he's decided(It's sounding like we are breaking up). If they do both come back next year with Randle and Sims and a hungry defense that's really started to come together we have a season on the horizon that looks better than 2009.
Let's hope we get a better roll of the dice this time.