Scott Sicko figured to be an NFL player after putting up some pretty impressive numbers during his college career, with 160 receptions including 22 touchdowns. He had the size and speed to make a pro roster as a solid tight end. Apparently, he simply doesn’t the have the desire.
Sicko spurned multiple offers to join NFL teams as a priority free agent after going undrafted. His reasoning, as he told Albany Times Union:
“If I were to be drafted I would have had more confidence of a much longer career in the NFL. I have to look at my life and decide what will make me the happiest. And the thing that will make me the happiest now and in the long run is to pursue my education.”
Put this is the “things you just don’t see everyday” category.
It sounds crazy, but maybe it isn’t. Sicko has a degree and has aspirations of enrolling in a graduate program to become a professor. He doesn’t have the desire to be a third tight end in goal line situations. Good for him.
However, the logic behind the decision seems a bit odd. Undrafted free agents have just as good of a shot to make a roster as fifth, sixth, and seventh round picks. That’s just the reality. It can even be argued that having a choice of teams, as Sicko had with the Eagles, Cowboys, and Jets among others, gives an undrafted player the flexibility to put himself in the most favorable position to make an NFL roster.
It’s actually surprising this sort of thing doesn’t happen more often. Just imagine if Tim Tebow decided he would prefer to help the starving children in Nigeria instead of spending hours refining his throwing motion. Such a move would create shock, confusion, and outrage.
Although it’s fun to picture him living in a tent and throwing his patented jump-passes to young children, Tebow probably isn’t the best example. Many of the late round and free agent players will spend thousands of hours training just to make practice squads, only to be released and look for work elsewhere. The money is good, but is it really worth the hours and moving all around the country? Maybe, but it would be nice to have an alternative career choice–like becoming a History professor.
It might not be the coolest thing to do, but Sicko might have made the smartest decision of any borderline NFL prospect in a long, long time.