It’s no secret that Seattle’s favorite son these days is University of Washington quarterback Jake Locker. Les Carpenter runs down the reasons why in this excellent Locker profile for Yahoo! and notes that Locker, more than just about anyone, is playing for the love of the game.
Veterans and league executives alike were outraged that this year’s top pick, quarterback Sam Bradford from Oklahoma could get six years and $78 million as the No. 1 selection last spring. More likely the new system will have a more modest rookie pay scale. So if Locker truly could have been the top selection this past spring he may have cost himself tens of millions of dollars.
But sometimes it’s not the money. Something Scott Locker learned when his son, then 17, was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels to skip college and play center field. He sat Jake down and said that the contract would be about $2 million and that he had been hanging drywall for 20 years and couldn’t make the kind of money Jake would make with one swoop of his pen. His son, if he was smart, could be set for life.
Scott recalls him looking up and saying: "Dad, if I ever asked for something you’ve always been able to get it, so maybe the money thing isn’t important."
Delaying millions is one thing. But potentially tossing away eight figures of salary to attempt to lead your hometown university on a return to glory? They make movies with far worse plots than that.
And that story, not his dual-threat capabilities or NFL size and strength, is reason No. 1 that Jake Locker is in the Heisman discussion.