One of the pre-draft knocks on Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert came from the perception that the ties between Herbert and his home state of Oregon are simply too tight. Apparently, they’re not that tight.
As noted by John Canzano of OregonLive.com, Herbert has not yet signed a shoe deal with Oregon institution Nike.
Nike announced at the time of the draft a 14-member class of 2020, none of whom are named Justin Herbert.
“We are not going to comment on Justin Herbert at this time,” Nike told Canzano in response to the question of whether there is or will be a deal with Herbert.
An unnamed source, per Canzano, attributed the lack of a deal to the logistics of the pandemic. Which is confusing, as Canzano notes, given that the pandemic didn’t prevent Nike from signing the likes of Joe Burrow, Jerry Jeudy, and Jordan Love.
Another source told Canzano that Herbert is expected to sign with Nike by June 1. Even if he does, that fact that an Oregon quarterback who was drafted in the top 10 didn’t already have a deal with Nike is strange, to say the least. Nike is Oregon and Oregon is Nike, and the failure of Nike and Herbert to do a deal suggests that maybe Herbert isn’t as dependent on Oregon as some scouts had feared.
Or maybe Herbert’s camp has decided to resist Nike in an effort to have something tangible to which to point when saying, “See? He’s not as close to Oregon as you thought.”
Justin Herbert’s lack of Nike deal raises eyebrows originally appeared on Pro Football Talk