In the movie, A Field of Dreams, a voice tells Kevin Costner-’if you build it, they will come”. What happens if the Miami Dolphins finish the season with the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, a move securing the chance to draft Stanford QB Andrew Luck, and Luck wants no part of Miami? It’s a move that’s been done before.
Eli Manning, John Elway and RB Bo Jackson all decided they wanted no part of the teams which drafted them, demanding a trade elsewhere. Eli Manning was the first overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers and was eventually traded to the New York Giants. In 1983, the Baltimore Colts drafted John Elway with the first overall pick. Elway wanted no part of the Colts and demanded a trade elsewhere or he threatened to pursue a MLB career.
Another former first-overall pick which refused to play for the team which drafted him, RB Bo Jackson. In 1987, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted the Auburn superstar. Jackson told the Buccaneers not to draft him because he didn’t want to play for the perennial losers. Jackson sat out the 1987 NFL season and decided to play baseball with the Kansas City Royals.
As Dolphin fans are counting the weeks down until the 2012 NFL Draft and rooting for their team to lose in order to get a chance to draft Andrew Luck, fans should temper their expectations. There is a chance that Luck might say, ‘Thanks, but no thanks’.
With the terms of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement in the NFL, the top overall draft spot is not as confiscatory as it once was and Miami would likely have a laundry list of suitors clamoring for the chance to orchestrate a trade for the rights to draft Andrew Luck.
The underlying factor which steers Andrew Luck’s decision will be what moves are going to be made in Miami during the offseason. Head coach Tony Sparano should start packing right now to avoid the rush after the end of the season, but I imagine his eventual replacement will be the determining factor in Luck’s overall decision. Remember, it was a foregone conclusion last season that Luck would enter the NFL draft, and he remained in school.
For 12 seasons, Miami Dolphin fans have longed for a successor to legendary Dan Marino, but be careful while rooting for your team to lose each game. Sometimes if you build it, no one shows up.