University of Michigan's Taylor Lewan made right decision to return for senior season says Detroit Lions' Lawrence Jackson
While debating the merits of University of Michigan offensive lineman Taylor Lewan's decision to return to school for his senior season, 97.1 The Ticket hosts Doug Karsh and Scott Anderson received an unexpected call.
Listening to the web stream of the show from his home in Los Angeles, Detroit Lions defensive end Lawrence Jackson wanted to praise Lewan's commitment to his school and education.
Jackson can speak from experience. After redshirting his first year at USC, he was projected as a first-round selection after both his sophomore and junior seasons, but ultimately decided to stay and get his degree.
"It was huge," Jackson said. "I feel more blessed about the decision I made now then when I was a high school kid. I had no idea, going to SC, that it was such a good school. To have my degree sets such a positive example for the kids that are already there that you can be good at football and be good at school and get your degree before you get out of there. I think it's the best thing that's happened to me."
After Jackson's senior season, he was selected by Seattle with the 28th pick in the 2008 draft. After two years with the Seahawks, he was traded to Detroit where he's played the last three seasons. Jackson is currently an unrestricted free agent.
Had Lewan opted to declare for the draft, he would have undoubtedly been selected in the first round, a distinction that would have netted him a four-year contract worth upwards of $10 million guaranteed. Jackson said there's no reason that money, and potentially more, won't be there next year.
"To combat the idea that he's playing for free, you have to look at it that the NFL isn't going anywhere," Jackson said. "If you're coming back, you're playing for the interest that would accrue from one year to the other. You could put that in the bank account. If he's a guy that's considered the third- or fourth-best offensive tackle, if he comes back, he has the chance to be the number-one guy. That's a lot more money if he's to come out then versus now."
The biggest risk for Lewan is an injury could impact his value, or in a worst-case scenario, end his career. Jackson talked about the importance of insurance and how much it should cost.
"I heard you guys talking that the 15th pick is worth $6 million or something like that," Jackson said. "To take out an insurance policy for $3 million, will probably cost you about $150,000-$200,000. You'll basically get $3 million tax-free, which is equivalent to almost that $6 million contract. To take that risk, have that degree, and have a chance to make a little bit more money, I think the guy is making the right decision."