Monday is money day: Portal will open Wild, Wild West shootout

By Frank Cooney with inspired insight from Mike Bianchi, Orlando Sentinel

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Nov 19, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) throws an interception as he is pressured by Vanderbilt Commodores defensive end Darren Agu (92) and defensive lineman Christian James (91) during the second half at FirstBank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports


Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinal has hit upon something we at NFL Draft Scout have discussed in house often.

He postulates that players with college eligibility may not be rushed to jump into the NFL as in past years. Except for those drafted very high, another year in college may be more profitable.

 He notes we have not heard a lot of talk about several outstanding players leaving for the NFL - yet. He says, "Understandably, there is a lot of talk about Anthony Richardson leaving the University of Florida for the big money of the NFL Draft, but why isn’t anybody talking about Richardson, Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis, Heisman Trophy frontrunner Caleb Williams of USC and every other marquee college football player leaving for the big money in the transfer portal?

He points out that with the postseason portal opening on Monday, why wouldn’t every established and coveted college football player in the nation at least put his name in it, test the waters and try to get the best free-agent, er, NIL deal possible?

Yep. Show me the money. 

Bianchi goes on. . . "If coaches can parlay great seasons (or even average seasons) into lucrative contract extensions, why shouldn’t players be able to capitalize on their success? If the Gators want to keep Richardson, let them ante up and match an offer he might get from Alabama or Georgia. If the Seminoles want to keep Travis, let them dig deep and match an offer he might get from Clemson or Texas.

If some of the NIL numbers being tossed around are true, college stars who aren’t surefire first-round draft picks might make more money by staying in school than by going to the NFL.

"And if you’re a star player or even a quality starter at a good college program, there’s really no risk if you decide to enter the portal. What’s the worst that could happen if, say, Travis enters the portal and doesn’t get a better deal than what he already has at FSU? Then he just pulls his name out of the portal and stays in Tallahassee, right? No harm. No foul."

Brace yourself college football fans. Bianchi advises, adding. . .  

It used to be National Signing Day was the most exciting time of the college football offseason, but just wait until the portal opens on Monday.

The wild, wild West is about to turn into California gold rush.

Yep, we also believe the college-to-pro scenario may undergo a major change that will focus on the obvious -- follow the money.

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