In the past 24 hours, Kentucky Wildcats basketball star Nerlens Noel –presumed by many to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft –tore his ACL and will miss the remainder of the season as he begins his rehabilitation process.
Another top player has the potential to secure his financial future should he suffer a similar fate and should take just that opportunity: South Carolina Gamecocks all-everything defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who is almost a shoe-in to be one of the top picks in the 2014 NFL Draft–assuming his stays healthy.
For an athlete in Clowney’s position, given that he cannot enter the NFL as a 19-year-old sophomore, there is a certain level of nerves that the career-ending or at least career-altering injury could always be right around the corner.
With this in mind, reports have surfaced this afternoon that Clowney is considering taking out a catastrophic injury insurance policy through a South Carolina firm that would ensure a payout of $5 million in projected future earnings should he suffer a season-ending injury.
This is a no-brainer, folks. By no design of his own, Clowney is forced to play his junior season. In a world where age limits didn’t exist, the dominant defensive end would be playing on Sundays in the fall and there wouldn’t be any concern, or any question, about the worst possible outcome happening on a collegiate field.
As it stands, Clowney is a very valuable commodity, to put it in the bluntest and most crass terms. Not only will an NFL team see a substantial return on investment from his services very soon, but he stands to be one of the best young defensive ends in the game with the right seasoning and experience earned in the professional game.
Guys of this talent level, both raw and developed, don’t come around all that often.
Protecting that talent, and the monetary value it presumes, should be a foregone conclusion for Jadeveon Clowney and his family and we have to assume just that will happen ASAP.