Should He Stay or Should He Go? Tua Tagovailoa Doesn't Know Yet
Alabama junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa said in two interviews on Tuesday that the "business decision" about whether to go pro or return to the Crimson Tide for this final year of eligibility will be made with the help of his family.
But they haven't discussed it yet and he's still weighing his options.
Tagovailoa suffered a season-ending dislocated and fractured hip, along with a concussion and broken nose, at Mississippi State on Nov. 16. He had surgery in Houston two days later, and began what Nick Saban described as a long recovery process.
“I think you’ve got to think of both sides of the spectrum," Tagovailoa told ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit. “You think of risk-reward on coming back. You think of risk-reward on leaving.
"If I come back, the risk is, well, 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. Now you look at the other side of the spectrum if I leave. Well the risk is, do I still go in the first round or do I even make it to the second round? These guys don’t even know if I can play with the hip injury yet, too. And then, I’d say the reward in all that is, yeah, I’ll be getting paid millions, but a lot of the money that you could have made you can’t make that money up."
Last year, top pick Kyler Murray landed a four-deal deal with $35.2 million with a $23.5 million signing bonus. Former Alabama offensive lineman Jonah Williams got $17,6 million, and $10 million bonus at No. 11.
Josh Jacobs, at No. 24, signed for $11.9 million ($6.7 million bonus). The first player int he second round, Washington cornerback Byron Murphy inked a deal for $7.99 million ($3.8 million).
Tagovailoa was widely considered to be a top-five pick prior to his injury. He sat on a cart during the Crimson Tide's final home game against Western Carolina, and was on the Alabama sideline at Auburn with the use of crutches.
He has until Jan. 20th to make a decision, the deadline for those departing early to declare themselves eligible for the 2020 NFL Draft. The Crimson Tide has numerous players currently weighing their options.
“Whatever God puts in my heart and my parents’ hearts, that will be the right thing,” Tagovailoa said.
Tagovailoa also said that he does not regret the decision to play against Mississippi State when coming back from surgery to help his recovery from a high ankle sprain.
“I was still a little unsure [that morning],” he said. “The doctors had cleared me. It wasn’t a physical thing, it was more mental because I hadn’t taken a live rep in practice. I didn’t start [practicing] until Wednesday or Thursday so I didn’t get to work live against the scout team on how [Mississippi State] would blitz, how to set protections, when to be protected. But I could move. That wasn’t the issue.
“It was up to me. Coach Saban told me ‘we will play you if you want to play and if not, we’re not going to be mad.’ So it was really up to me and I chose to play.”