Florida State safety Myron Rolle had a tough choice, either declare himself eligible for the 2009 draft or defer entry to the NFL until the 2010 draft and accept a Rhodes scholarship at Oxford University. While admirably he chose the latter, at least in the short term, his decision to not enter the NFL draft until 2010 will certainly impact his financial interests if and when he decides to play.
Since the NFL appears to be headed for an uncapped season in 2010, the owners could institute a Rookie salary cap for the 2010 draft. This would mean that a player, like Rolle, that was looking at being drafted in the top 4o players will receive drastically reduced wages, not unlike incoming NBA players did when they put in place their own Rookie cap.
Not to mention that NFL personnel memories are short and if you aren't playing, you aren't going to get drafted high. By Rolle going to England for a year and since he wasn't a top 10 candidate anyway, he almost certainly will slide down draft boards and not get anywhere near the draft pick and thus the money he would've gotten had he come out in 2009 even if there isn't going to be a rookie cap.
Neither having a Rhodes scholarship nor playing in the NFL is a sure way to making millions of dollars and leaving yourself set for life for sure. While the prestige of playing in the NFL can take you places (ask Steve Largent and Heath Shuler) a Rhodes scholarship can certainly carry more weight in one's life after one's playing days are done (ask Bill Bradley) but either one's prestige can only go so far to pay the bills and that 1st or 2nd round pick money could certainly have been of some use to a guy as smart as Rolle. Then again, maybe I have no idea how much someone in the field of medical anthropology makes.
Via The Quad, NY Times Blog