Recently, running backs Christian McCaffery and Leonard Fournette both announced they would be sitting out their teams respective bowl games and instead choosing to prepare for the NFL draft.
This has drawn criticism from a number of people, but perhaps most notably from Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott, who played at Ohio State as recently as last year took to Twitter to express his thoughts.
Elliott, while not mentioning anybody by name, he is transparently talking about McCaffery and Fournette. He softened his stance, though, after discovering both players had battled injuries throughout the season.
All three players implicated play the same position and are the workhorses and engines for their respective offenses. The difference, though, is that Elliott is already locked into a guaranteed contract, regardless of what happens to his body while playing.
Elliott has the financial security that McCaffery and Fournette fear they are putting at risk by playing in their final game. Both stand to gain very little by playing in their bowl games, even if they have stellar performances.
By now scouts have enough film on them. It’s more important to be in great shape and perform well at the upcoming offseason showcases. While there is something to be said for the consummate teammate, players are told all the time that it is a “business”.
If that is the case, you can’t fault young players who want to protect their investment so that they might actually reap dividends on it.