Greedy has millions of reasons to skip Fiesta Bowl

Did he live up to his moniker?

When LSU cornerback Greedy Williams declared for the NFL draft, he also said he would skip LSU’s Fiesta Bowl game against Central Florida.

Williams surprised no one when he announced for the draft, but raised a few eyebrows when he said he wouldn’t play in the bowl game.

This means that the Tigers will be without both starting cornerbacks for the January 1st game against Central Florida.

Which, quite frankly, isn’t Greedy’s problem.

LSU fans who don’t understand how one of their best players could opt out of the game, don’t understand finance.

When a player is recruited to LSU, they are told it is the potential pathway to riches.

Even without a first-round pick in the 2018 draft, LSU drafted players, according to the website Spotrac, signed rookie contracts worth $24.948 million.

So, should Greedy risk his investment in what is a glorified exhibition game? Of course not.

If the Tigers were in the CFP semifinals, he would play.

Let’s say Williams played in the bowl game and was injured. A slide of 16 selections in the first round would cost him millions.

The 16th pick in the 2018 draft, Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edwards, signed a contract worth $12.659 million, with a signing bonus of $7.286 million.

The 32nd pick in the draft, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, earned significantly less.

His contract value was $9.471 million, with $4.968 million in signing bonus.

The 50th pick in the draft, in the second round, earned just less than $5.5 million.

Two years ago, LSU running back Leonard Fournette skipped the team’s Citrus Bowl win over Louisville. He was battling a nagging ankle injury.

He got healthy enough to be picked fourth in the 2017 draft. And, with that selection came enormous wealth.

Fournette’s contract is worth more than $27 million, with $17.88 million guaranteed.

On the same day that Greedy Williams announced he was headed to the draft, a news report outlined bowl incentives reached by LSU football coaches.

For playing in the Fiesta Bowl, a “New Year’s Six” bowl, Ed Orgeron earns an additional $150,000. LSU assistants, collectively, earn an additional $275,000. That’s real money.

If LSU’s secondary under performs in the Fiesta Bowl, there will be those who will lament the decision by Greedy Williams not to play.

But, at LSU, and every other school in the Southeastern Conference, the conference is marketed to players as a chance to get to “the league.”

Now that Williams is so close to a significant pot of gold, no one should blame him for taking it.

Ed Daniels is sports director of ABC26 WGNO. He can be reached at edaniels@clarionherald.org.

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