Pro Football Talk: ESPN wrongly claims Locker cost himself $50 million

By Cam Martin Comment

In an E:60 story about University of Washington quarterback Jake Locker, ESPN claims Locker would have been the surefire No. 1 pick in 2010 if he’d left school a year early, a decision E:60 correspondent Lisa Salters says cost him $50 in guaranteed money.

“Last year he was projected to be the No. 1 pick, but in one of those rare moves, he decided to go back for his senior season,” Salters said. “That worked out OK for Sam Bradford, because he ended up being the No. 1 pick.”

The producer of the segment, Andy Tennant, added, “Bradford got $50 million guaranteed last year. This guy left $50 million on the table, and there’s no way possible that he doesn’t regret this decision.”

Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk says the narrative ESPN has created here is disingenuous. Smith notes, “the NFL’s draft advisory board didn’t even give Locker a first-round grade when he inquired about where he might have gone in the 2010 draft.”

But why let that tidbit get in the way of a good story? Kid, you cost your family $50 million! Hope you had fun playing another year of beer pong.

“ESPN apparently thought it was making its E:60 profile more dramatic by portraying Locker as a man who gave up a surefire $50 million, but the reality is just the opposite: ESPN weakened its own story by portraying Locker as something he’s not.”