Florida State University quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston has purchased a large disability and "loss of value" policy that provides him with $8 million to $10 million in insurance coverage, a source close to the situation told Yahoo Sports.
According to the source, Winston is the first returning Heisman Trophy winner since former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford to purchase preseason loss of value coverage, though other returning winners have purchased "total permanent disability" coverage during that time frame. Winston's policy is based on a projection that he will be selected in the top 10 of the 2015 NFL draft and would theoretically pay out if he fell out of the first round due to injury or illness.
Though Winston's father recently said he wanted his son to play two more football seasons for the Seminoles while earning his degree, industry experts say underclassmen who purchase insurance policies as large as Winston's almost always enter the NFL draft following the season for which they purchased coverage. That reality is largely due to the hefty premiums players have to pay out of pocket (often with the help of their families) to protect themselves. Policies the size of Winston's can carry a $55,000 to $60,000 premium payment per year, which industry sources say most players have to obtain by financing.
While the NCAA sponsors a disability insurance program for some college athletes in select sports that allows them to obtain total permanent disability coverage and a loan to cover the premium on that portion of their policy, it does not sponsor a program that offers loss of value coverage.
Winston, 6-foot-4, 235-pounds, burst onto the scene for Florida State last year as a redshirt freshman, throwing for 4,057 yards and 40 touchdowns while leading the Seminoles to an ACC Championship and a comeback victory against Auburn in the BCS National Championship Game.