Hooked On The NinersBianchini's Market

On the Tunney Side of the Street 2

by Jim Tunney

After Further Review ... "SHOW ME THE MONEY!" shouted Rod Tidwell to Jerry Maguire in the movie "Jerry Maguire." Tidwell (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), was telling sports agent, Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) that if you want me to sign with you as my agent: "Show me the money!" It's a scene played out in real life by college athletes becoming professionals.

Mark Sanchez, a junior in his fourth year at University of Southern California, is the latest of those shouting, "Show me the money." Quarterback Sanchez had a great 2008 football season at U.S.C. which was ranked No. 2 in the country. U.S.C. handedly defeated Penn State in the Rose Bowl game on January 1, 2009, with Sanchez leading the Trojans to victory. Is Sanchez now ready for the NFL?

Many don't think so - including his U.S.C. Coach, Pete Carroll. Carroll once coached in the NFL before coming to U.S.C. and has resurrected the Trojans to top National ranking status. Carroll tried to convince his star QB to stay for his final year and questions Sanchez's ability to move into the NFL; it makes a lot of sense. But "cents" isn't what it's all about; it's about dollars as in, "Show me the money!"

Coach Carroll knows a quarterback's strengths and areas that need developing. He coached Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart, both Heisman Trophy winners and NFL first round draft choices. Neither Palmer nor Leinart has yet to make a strong impression in the NFL.

Why would Sanchez not want to return to U.S.C. (for his last season of eligibility) with an opportunity to improve himself before taking on the NFL? Sanchez is projected to be a 2009 first round draft choice, and perhaps THE first pick. His salary and signing bonus could be likely in the $15-20 million range.

Sam Bradford, the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner, decided to remain at Oklahoma for the 2009 season. Colt McCoy, runner-up to Bradford in the 2008 Heisman race, will return to University of Texas to complete his eligibility. Tim Tebow, 2007 Heisman winner (and who finished 3rd in the 2008 Heisman race), will also return - to the University of Florida.

Maybe that answers the Sanchez issue. If Sanchez stays at U.S.C. and enters the NFL next season, he will compete in the 2010 draft with Bradford, McCoy and Tebow, and - perhaps - would be drafted lower than the first round, and offered less money. On the other hand, with a powerful 2009 season at U.S.C., Sanchez could win the Heisman.

Will you stay the course to further develop yourself or choose "show me the money?"

For more information about Jim Tunney, please visit his website: www.JimTunney.com, or if you would like to respond to this message, please send your email to Jim@JimTunney.com