Thursday, May 27, 2010

What Should Jammie Kirlew Do With $1.84 Million

So let’s say you’re Jammie Kirlew (photo courtesy of IU athletics) and you just signed a four-year contract for $1.84 million with the Denver Broncos.

What do you do with the money?

You could go the Mike Tyson route, which means $1.4 million goes to Don King and the rest goes to buying and maintaining the tiger that appeared in the absolutely-did-happen movie, “The Hangover.”

Fortunately, Kirlew is a smart guy. For one thing, he’s not looking to buy a tiger. For another, his agent is not Don King, but Jared Fox. Finally, in the NFL, a $1.84 million contract is not what it seems. Only $50,000 is guaranteed. Why? Because Kirlew is a seventh-round pick, so lacks the bargaining power of a first-rounder.

Kirlew has to make the team and get a certain amount of playing time over the next four years to get all the money in the contract.

No matter. Kirlew will get his shot, and it’s expected to come as a rush linebacker in Denver’s 3-4 defensive scheme rather than at defensive end, where Kirlew was an All-Big Ten performer.

Two other Indiana players were drafted last month and neither has signed. Offensive lineman Rodger Saffold, a second-round pick, is with the St. Louis Rams. Cornerback/returner Ray Fisher, a seventh-round pick, is with the Indianapolis Colts.

Hoosiers signed as free agents include linebacker Will Patterson (with Houston), defensive back Nick Polk (with Houston) and linebacker Matt Mayberry (with Chicago).

Yes, this reflects IU’s improving football talent. The fact that it didn’t produce a winning record (the Hoosiers were 3-9 and 4-8 in the last two years) doesn’t diminish the possibilities for this season.

In the end, it’s about results. And, of course, tigers.

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