Going into this season, it seemed an easy bet that Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa would leave school a year early and be one of the top picks in the 2020 NFL Draft.
But his recent hip injury has seemingly complicated his decision-making, and he said he’s still considering all his options.
“You think of risk-reward on coming back. You think of risk-reward on leaving,” he said during an interview with ESPN. “And when I look at it, I kind of look at it, if I come back, the risk is what if I get hurt again? But the reward could be maybe I jump back to the top of the charts, the boards for all these teams.”
Tagovailoa had surgery last month in Houston, after he suffered a separated hip and fractured posterior wall in a game against Mississippi State. That has naturally created some doubt about his draft status, though Alabama team doctors declared the surgery a success and said he should make a complete recovery and be throwing by the spring.
So Tagovailoa has to weigh the possibility of being chosen later in the first round, as teams might not be willing to use a top-five pick on a guy who may not be fully healthy at the time they draft him.
“I’d say the reward in all of that is, yeah, I’ll be getting paid millions,” Tagovailoa said. “But a lot of the money that I could’ve made, you can’t make that money up now. So that’d be me leaving money on the table.
“But then, at the same time, I still gotta talk with my family about all this, see what their input is. Now is not the time to be making emotional decisions. But now you gotta change into thinking as a businessman. You gotta make business decisions.”
He has until Jan. 20 to make that decision. But the fact he’s thinking as a businessman seems to be shading it in a certain direction.