This is my very first fan post at Turf Show Times! I'm not a writer but I am an AVID Rams fan.
Unfortunately, I live in South Carolina. I have often felt like I was the only Rams fan in the state. Fortunately, I have DirectTV and I am married to a GameCock. I am one of few who have watched every game the Rams have played and Game Cocks have played over the last nine years (before that I didn't follow the game cocks). I could not believe we passed on Alshon Jeffrey to draft Brian Quick (another Game Cock who had a reputation for being "Lazy") but that's a different story.
I have not read this argument made for Clowney's performance last year but I ask you to place yourself in the shoes of a 19 year old with high aspirations. In 2012, Clowney was a sophomore looking up to a surefire top five pick named Marcus Lattimore (most Rams fans don't remember him but he is on the 9ners now… watch out). Lattimore had his knee blown out against the Tennessee Volunteers in a horrific fashion. Place yourself in the shoes of Clowney and watch the first 12 seconds of this video.
Lattimore was the heart and soul of the Game Cocks. The entire state of South Carolina was horrified by what happened to the leader of the Game Cocks. Even the Clemson Tiger fans were sympathetic. Lattimore declared for the draft, and watched his stock drop from a top 10 pick to the 4th round. Here is a SBNation mock right before his injury where Lattimore was slated ahead of Luke Jockel. Lattimore’s contract with the Niners is worth a little north of 2 Mil over 4 years. Jockels is worth a little north of 21 Mil. There is a 19 Million dollar difference.
If Clowney could have declared as a sophomore he would have been a top 5 pick last year. The rules are the rules and he couldn’t. There were many in South Carolina who advised Clowney not to even play his Junior season. Check out this article
What would you do for 19 Million Dollars?
Take away all of the double and triple teams. Take away all of the plays that were intentionally run away from Clowney that had an impact on his numbers. We all know you can’t do that in the NFL (Especially with Quinn on the other side). Put yourself in the shoes of a 20 year old Clowney who came back for his Junior season.
Your first game is against the University of North Carolina. The entire nation is watching your every move and you are on every teams hit list. You are one play away from losing a record contract and this dirty, cheap shot play, intended to take your knees out happens
Was this intentional? What would you do afterwards? I think there is a difference between playing it safe and being lazy. So Clowney is playing for money? Staying healthy was a 19 million dollar swing for one of Clowney’s role models. He watched it slip away in an instant.
So lets play devils advocate. Say Clowney is a money man. The difference between his first year contract (using Jockel as an example ) is 21 Mil against Longs contract extension (another 2nd round pick) 56.5 Million is 35.5 Million. Here is where the new rookie contract rules will make him work. If you don’t think Clowney will give his all as a Ram, I’ll call you crazy :P
He is a 6’6 250 lb DE who will run a 4.4 40 in the combine. The guy is a freak. I think there is a difference between "Laziness" and common sense.
For all of you "Play for the love of the game folks" What would you do for 19 Million? The "Lazy" Clowney some thought they saw last year is not the Clowney that will play in the NFL.
Sorry for the length but here is one more video unrelated to Clowney of a South Carolina defense knocking out a young Russel Wilson.