Tua Tagovailoa could actually be coming back? Many have scoffed at the idea including Joseph Goodman from AL.com. Goodman asks the question, why would Tua come back? He even admits he is having a hard time thinking of any reasons he should come back and alleges that if you hope he comes back to Alabama you are SELFISH.
So let’s help Goodman out with why it makes sense for Tua to comeback:
“Tua will make millions if he goes to the NFL next year.” Yes, that is true. But to really understand what is to gain, it has to start with analyzing the projected earnings of the total contract for first round picks (Forbes.com):
#1 Pick: $35.2 Million ($21 Million Signing Bonus)
#2 Pick: $33.6 Million
#3 Pick: $32.6 Million
#4 Pick: $31.4 Million
#5 Pick: $29.3 Million
#10 Pick: $18.9 Million ($10 Million Signing Bonus)
#15 Pick: $14.9 Million
#20 Pick: $12.6 Million
#25 Pick: $11.8 Million
#30 Pick: $10.5 Million
The difference between being a top five pick and falling out of the top ten is about double the contract value. Right now with Tua’s hip injury he isn’t guaranteed to be in the top five. Rather, if he came back for his senior season and proved he was healthy, he would solidify top five contract status. The difference? At least $15 million dollars including $10 million just in signing bonus. Going back to school to be a top five pick is worth it especially considering the NFL first round contract is for four years with a fifth year option.
But what about his injury status?
Recovery Time from his Injury
Tua right now is on crutches and can’t stand for an extended period of time due to his hip injury. His timeline for his injury recovery looks like this:
Late February 2020: Resumes athletic activity
Spring 2020: Can start throwing again
April 23, 2020: NFL Draft
May-July 2020: Fully Healthy
There is a possibility Tua will not be cleared to throw before the NFL Draft requiring teams to chance a draft pick that he will be 100% back to normal. A risky move for an NFL team especially at the top of the first round. Tua will also not be fully healthy while NFL teams do their extensive physicals and examinations of him. Wouldn’t it be prudent to fully recover a hip injury without having countless examinations on you? But again he could get hurt playing College Football in 2020.
So what happens if he gets hurt?
Protected by Insurance
Part of the reason Alabama LB Dylan Moses came back was due to insurance coverage if he drops in value. Tua could do something similar so he is further protected if his stock drops due to injury or loss of value. A max of $10 million insurance policy is allowed by the NCAA and will offer a safety net due to the unexpected. Given his top fifteen NFL draft projection by the NFL Advisory Committee, the payout will be large. Plus Nick Saban is an insurance expert.
National Championship and Legacy of an All-Time great
Peyton Manning came back for his senior season. The entire Clemson defensive line came back for their senior seasons despite being projected first round picks. Sometimes guys just love playing for their school and finishing out on a high note.
Not only that… Tua hasn’t won a Heisman despite being one of the all-time great college quarterbacks. He would have a chance to break the SEC passing touchdowns record and the NCAA Career Passer Rating Record. But most importantly… he’d have the chance to win another National Championship. After a 10-2, injury plagued year and Coach Orgeron saying “Roll Tide, What? F**K YOU!” Tua and Alabama could be heading for a 2020 revenge tour.
Tua will decide what is best for Tua. But saying there is “no reason to comeback” is flat out wrong. There are risks to coming back and risks to declaring. No matter what he chooses, it is clear Alabama nation will support him despite how selfish Goodman thinks the Crimson Tide fan base is. Until then, we will wait and get teased by Tua’s Instagram.