NFLPA president Eric Winston seems to be in favor of Leonard Fournette skipping the Citrus Bowl.
The discussion about NFL-bound college stars missing their bowl games has been a hot topic of late after the LSU running back announced he wouldn’t play against Louisville on Dec. 31 and Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey said he would sit out the Sun Bowl against North Carolina on Dec. 30.
On Thursday, a piece from Monday Morning Quarterback’s Peter King highlighted Winston’s thoughts on the situation. Winston mentioned Fournette specifically when breaking down the issue.
“This is really the first professional financial decision they have to make,” Winston said, over his cell from Paul Brown Stadium on Wednesday. “It’s whether to risk what they have to play in the bowl game. Take Leonard Fournette, because he’s a consensus Top 5 pick. You can put a value on that. You say, this is what the second pick of the draft is, this is what the seventh pick of the draft is.
“And what is the upside of going and playing in the bowl game? It might be a lot. It might be none. In his case, it’s probably not a lot, if not none, right? So you have to then ask yourself, ‘What does that mean to me?’”
Winston goes on to mention that each case can be different. He went out of his way to praise Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett for choosing to play in the Texas Bowl next Wednesday against Kansas State.
“I don’t say, ‘This guy’s right or this guy is wrong,’” Winston told King. “I applaud them for standing up and making a decision, just like I applaud the guy from Texas A&M (Myles Garrett), who sounds like he’s gonna be a Top 5 pick and says, ‘Hey, I wanna play.’ There’s no right or wrong answer. I applaud both of them. The ones that I hate to see are guys that say, ‘Oh man, I never really thought of that.’”
The various opinions are interesting. Recently, noted agent Drew Rosenhaus gave his thoughts on the matter and suggested it would be better if players appeared in their bowl games.
It will be worth watching to see if this development continues in the coming years.