Not quite how I remember high school football.

We thought that the Jays were going to have to get creative to make good on the aggressiveness of their draft, and it sounds as though they’ve done just that, as Jim Callis reports that sources are telling him that they are going to sign Anthony Alford, the third round pick with, by all accounts, some serious first round talent.

Callis has more at Baseball America, explaining that the Jays “will allow him to play football for the [Southern Miss.] Golden Eagles. His bonus hasn’t been confirmed yet, but may be close to double the $424,400 value assigned to the 112th overall pick.”

In addition to being a highly sought after football recruit, “the 6-foot, 200-pounder offers tantalizing potential on the diamond as well as an outfielder with plus-plus speed and good power potential,” Callis writes.

I have no fucking clue how this gets by the NCAA, but apparently the fact he’s turned pro in one sport doesn’t impact his eligibility in another. Mike Cormack of Sportsnet tells us as much, pointing out that “just last summer, the Blue Jays reached a similar agreement with undrafted free agent outfielder, and Rice University wide receiver, Luke Wilson.”

Chris Toman of MLB.com spoke to Alford this morning, and adds on his North of the Border blog that Alford “will fly to Florida on Saturday to meet with the Blue Jays brass.”

“I will play football and I will play baseball,” said Alford in a brief phone interview, according to Toman.

So… um… awesome!

More on Alford in our post from earlier in the week.

 

Image by PineBeltSports.com.

Comments (164)

  1. Whoa

  2. Mike Cormack did a piece on this a couple of days ago speculating that this is something they might be willing to do. http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/2012/06/07/anthony_alford_blue_jays_draft_future/

    If the Blue Jays do this tho I hope they don’t sign him to a ridiculous bonus because he might decide that he only wants to play football and would just be a waste of money.

    • I think if he wasn’t going to play football he could have been a 1st round pick and demanded 1.5-2M, but I think he will probably sign for something below double his slot (600-700K) and be allowed to play both sports. The reality is that its very unlikely he will ever make it as a professional QB in Football, so it might take him a couple years to figure out his future and real earning potential is in Baseball… HUGE signing by AA, bravo to the Jays front office for being creative with the draft once again.

      • My guess is he’ll play another position if he makes it to the NFL.

        • I know what you’re saying but if he doesn’t pan out as a QB, he’ll probably go play baseball full time. He probably has way more potential in baseball than as a cornerback or running back.

          I think the odds of him eventually going to play baseball are very good because unless he can play like Mike Vick, and if he were THAT good he wouldn’t be going to Southern Miss, he’s not going to be a starter in the NFL.

          • Also the earning potential is a lot higher in Baseball because of how relatively short Football careers are compared to Baseball. Also most NFL contracts arn’t fully guaranteed… we will see over time how this plays out.

        • agreed, he’s running back size, not NFL QB size

    • Was just looking at his size. At 6ft he’s actually on the short side for an NFL QB and they’ve got just as big of a bias when it comes to QB size as baseball does to pitcher size. That’s not to say if he performs in college he won’t get drafted for decent money but the trend in the NFL the last few years has been to go for bigger guys.

      Will also be curious to see that if he chooses football if he has to give a portion of the bonus back. Contract details for this player should be quite interesting.

      • The NFL hates short QB’s, period. Dieter Brock had to fire BETWEEN the onrushing linemen with the Rams, and Tom Clements never got a chance at KC. Doug Flutie won the Heisman and couldnt stick in LA, Chicago, New England or the USFL.

        Unless the kid is the biggest superstar of all time, his choice will be between the CFL and the Jays. Hopefully, it wont take a career ending injury to figure it out..

    • Who cares if they waste a million dollars and then he decides that he wants to play football anyway? This is exactly the type of expenditure that the team should be willing to take a risk on. Its not that much money by MLB standards (its basically the major league minimum of mccoy and gomes combined).

      the upshot is huge.

      waste away ..

      • meanwhile in two weeks ppl will be bitching how jays dont spend money. this signing is sic. who cares 800k is a drop in the hat for rogers coffers. worst case. he gets hurt or makes nfl. if he plays ball hes ours for a fraction of what he coulda got had he commited and drafted in 1st rd.

        • This is the one place I think the Jays spend enough however; International Free Agents and Draft Picks.

          • You didnt mention their scouting staff. If it isnt the largest in MLB, its among the top 3 largest.
            People forget that in order to spend money well, you need to know what you’re buying.

  3. Oh snap!

  4. Cool. Nice to see AA (and Tinnish?) thinking outside the box. Now, if they’d just do something about CoCo’s right arm shitiness…

  5. We’re getting a two sport athlete! Woo!

    Actually, It’d be cool again we could have two-sport athletes again. Too much specialization now.

    • its cause of all the money now, makes no sense for anyone to risk it the injury possibly caused by playing both seasons.

  6. How does this work? Baseball in spring/ summer, football in fall/winter?

  7. Working in the Blue Jays’ favor is that 6 foot tall quarterbacks have a pretty poor track record, so he may not be long for football. Working against the Blue Jays is that small scrambling quarterbacks get concussed with some frequency.

  8. Sweet. Callis’ story: http://ht.ly/bshI2

  9. Good to see. You can never trust what these kids have to say about these college decisions until they get those big money offers.

    Alford’s making the right choice here. He can always go back to school (and football) if his baseball career fails. And the Jays apparently made the right choice in making room to draft him, too.

    • Perhaps I should have read the story. He’s going to play college football at the same time as being a professional baseball player? I had no idea the NCAA allowed for something like to happen.

    • I’m pretty sure there’s no “going back” to school and football. He’ll be playing college football this fall. Even with signing, baseball is not his top priority.

    • From a Jim Callis chat – talking about another player, but same deal for Alford – signing a pro baseball contract doesn’t affect his eligibility for NCAA football.

      ” Sean (Battle Creek): Im confused over the Jameis WInston situation. Obviously he is going to go and play football for FSU in the fall but the Rangers are hoping he will play pro ball in offseason. How does that work? Do the rangers still need to go way over the 100k slot for him to play part time? Would he be Rangers property if that did happened or would he reenter draft later for baseball? Unfamiliar with the situation. Thanks Jim, love the chats!

      Jim Callis: He can play professionally in baseball and be eligible for NCAA football. Essentially, he can get $100,000 (or whatever the bonus is—it won’t be huge) for a summer job with no long-term commitment to baseball. The Rangers get to control his rights if he decides to play baseball, and can try to entice him with more money down the road.”

  10. Hmmm its looking more and more like the Jays knew exactly what they were doing with this draft. Maybe they don’t need us to tell them how to do their jobs?….Naaaaah!

  11. You can do this?

    You can sign a contract, and then go to college still? I wouldn’t think the NCAA would allow this, because he is then a pro-athlete.

    I wonder how this will work.

    • Apparently NCAA rules cover situations where you are a pro in one sport but still an amateur in another.

    • I was thinking the same thing. Likely because it’s different sports, his eligibility in football isn’t compromised. He certainly couldn’t play baseball there.

      • I guess this can work.

        He will be in school September until April (though many NCAA athletes take some summer courses, but he will instead just have to have a normal student work load), then Baseball April to August.

        It will be a lot of work for this kid, but if he can do it, I’ll be impressed.

        Imagine one day if he is the next Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders plays in the NFL and MLB, that would be pretty cool.

    • To expand on the above, yes, it’s because they’re two different sports. He’s basically a student-athlete in football with a (extremely lucrative) summer job.

      The fact that he’s going to a shit school like Southern Miss probably helps him play 2 sports. If he was going to a football factory, the football team might have just told him to fuck off if he wasn’t committed 100%. Southern Miss is desparate for a local talent like Alford.

      • I agree with everything but Minor ball being lucrative. I made more the he will as a summer student.

      • believe me, if you are the qb of southern miss, you are not going to have much time to not be playing or doing some sort of organized team activity. baseball will be way down on his priority list while he is in school.

        the key to the deal is that it looks him up as jays property for 6 years. only after he sets aside the football cleats wil he have enough time to dedicate to baseball

        people in the south are freaking football crazy and s. miss although not sec, is still big time football

        • He was signed by Southern Miss to play both football and baseball. The football team knew he was going to be gone in the spring and summer. He won’t be doing anything different from what he otherwise would have done except to slip on a Jays uniform instead of a Southern Miss uniform when he plays baseball in the spring and summer.

      • I am pretty sure that NCAA rules put caps on how much a student athlete can ‘earn’ in the off-season. Everything I can find stipulates that a scholarship athlete cannot earn more than $2000/yr from work. I still don’t get how a guy can get $100K to play baseball but another guy is in violation for earning more than $2000?

        http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/pubsres/academe/2001/MJ/NB/athreforms.htm

        • If that’s the case, the Jays bump up his signing bonus to cover 4 years tuition, Alford renounces his scholarship and plays as a non-scholarship walk-on, Southern Miss gets an extra scholarship to now use on somebody else. Everybody wins.

        • Quick someone tell the Anthopoulos!! Maybe there’s still time toget out of the deal!!

          Just a guess but I’m betting the Jay’s lawyers have figured this out already.

        • I would have to assume that a “signing bonus” doesn’t count as a salary… Regardless, he won’t need a scholarship with $800K in his pocket (plus the pittance he’ll make as a MiLB player)

    • Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns. Drafted as a 28 year old senior this year because he played baseball before. Chris Weinke is another example.

  12. Holy shit!

  13. Alfo knows baseball!
    Alfo knows football!

  14. Is this some kind of a loophole that allows a player to opt for college?

  15. “I will play football and I will play baseball,” said Alford in a brief phone interview.

    Alford wouldn’t reveal the details of the contract but expects to sign by Monday.

    http://gregorchisholm.mlblogs.com/

  16. Anybody heard about a rumour that Dirk Hayhurst is doing a noon time Baseball show on the FAN starting July and going through August?

  17. Yesterday it looked like that was the way the BJ were going to go with him. Another Luke Wilson. Great signing.Without football I have heard that he would have been a high 1st rounder. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

    Speaking of Luke Wilson, I saw the he is the 16th ranked TE in the 2013 draft class. I don’t know but I would suspect thast isn’t enough to grab a solid NFL draft slot. I have no idea what his baseball numbers look like but I wonder if the BJ experience with Wilson allowed them to be more comfortable with Alford doing the same thing.

    • Hard to say on Wilson. He’s a pass catching TE and listed at 6’4″, 250. A lot will depend on his senior year. Only 7 TE’s taken in the 2012 draft, 13 the year before. He’d do well financially and health-wise to make a shift to baseball ASAP.

  18. Wow interesting. So how long does the signing lock up Alford as a possible Blue Jay?

  19. This is actually pretty cool.

  20. Under NCAA rules, you are allowed to be a professional in any area other than the sport that you play collegiately.

    This is amazing. Here’s hoping he plays two years at Southern Miss while rising up the ranks in the minor leagues and realizes that playing baseball will not cause you to forget menial tasks when you’re 50 (unless you’re Justin Morneau).

  21. If the Jays are paying anything near slot money, I am not sure its a great deal. Alford is clearly a better football player and by letting him play NCAA football, the Jays are going to lose valuable development time for his baseball skills.

    • He has no real future playing footbal professionally with his size and he was going to be a top pick in the draft had it not been for football. Jays get him in the 3rd round, he’s worth it

      • Sure its great if he signs, but not if he gets slot money. Jays have to be lowballing him at this point.

        • It’s only money, and a minimal amount at that. If it impacted their ability to sign another player then sure, we’d have reason to be skeptical, but so far it doesn’t sound like that’s the case, and I’d doubt the team would take such a gamble if it meant losing another player outright.

        • I think the money’s just fine – Callis said might still get 2x slot. You’re right about possible impact on his development curve, but he’s still a 1st round talent coming in about 1/2 the cost of 1st round slot. Spending around the draft is still the cheapest way to bring talent into the organization. Unless you think playing football will absolutely remove the possibility of Alford making it in baseball, I see good value in the signing.

        • Nope. Rumour has it he will get close to 2X the ~$450k slot. But~$800k is great value for BA’s #36 prospect. Consider the difference insurance against concussions.

          • I suppose if AA is confideny that DJ Wilson and Stroman are going to sign at or near slot (which is what the rumour mills are suggesting), then Alford 2x slot is okay. My concern is the tall lefty pitcher (Smoral) who should have been a higher pick but dropped due to injury and strong college committment. His signing bonus allocation might be affected.

          • @Ballsdeep – Didn’t Smoral get ~$2m already?

        • Slot was 424K, and the estimated agreement was for more. (700 K or higher)

      • what does his size matter? peyton manning is 6’5″, alfords only 6’1″ i think your writing off how good he is at football a little too quickly

        • And Drew Brees is barely 6’0″, and is kind okay too…

          • For every Drew Brees and Mike Vick (also short) in the NLF, there are hundreds of short, failed college QB’s. There are many reasons for that but the big reasons are:

            -short QB’s can’t see over the line and have trouble finding passing lanes so it’s tough to be a good pocket passer
            -scrambling QB’s in college succeed in college because they’re faster than most defensive players and can get away with it but lots of guys find out awfully quickly that everyone is fast in the NFL and that type of game doesn’t work, unless you’re Mike Vick and even he has problems.

            I wouldn’t write him off of an NFL career yet because we have no idea how good he is. But I think it’s unlikely that he’ll ever suit up in the NFL.

    • I heard he was ranked #96 of this recruiting class. He’s #36 per Baseball America. But maybe he could play for the Argos!

    • I think that with the concussion and brain damage lawsuits, and all the ‘noise’ around the dangers of football… the Jays will have a good ‘in’ for convincing a smart, fairly well off young man like what he appears to be…to think seriously about the decision from a health position. At least I hope so

  22. no love for Deion?

  23. Ya. He’ll get to play football, but how many NFL players come from Southern Mississippi University? How many NFL quarterbacks are only 6ft tall? (Well, you know, Brett Favre went to SOuthern Miss. But Favre’s taller.)

  24. Recognizing that the professional sports industry and the minor leagues are now competitors in a sense for players, the NCAA has recently modified its rules regarding amateurism to allow a professional athlete to participate in a college or university sports program if the athlete has remaining eligibility, and the participation is in a different sport than the player’s professional sport. Thus, a 27-year-old football quarterback who played professionally as a minor league baseball player may still be able to compete as an amateur in football for a college or university. It will be interesting to see if the NCAA changes its position further on “amateurism” in the near future.

    http://sportslaw.uslegal.com/sports-agents-and-contracts/ncaa-sports-contracts-and-amateurism/

    • I read that as saying if a player “played” professional sports (as in the past) and still has eligibility in a different sport he still can play. I don;t see how doing both simultaneously reconciles with the earnings limitations. Unless, as another commenter posted, he will not be on scholarship.

  25. This guy is definitely going to be the “Big Man” on campus.

    Not only is he the QB of the football team, and the top recruit the school has, and not only is he the local boy, but he is also going to be the richest guy on campus.

  26. Another interesting thing is just how much developmental time he’ll actually get if he’s needed in college camp during the summer especially being the quarterback. It’s not like Dunedin or even Lansing are next door to where he’s going to college.

  27. Good thing college quarterbacks never, ever, EVER suffer whiplash concussions, ACL/MCL blowouts, or rotator cuff injuries. Ever.

    Dropping a million on a guy who won’t enter your minor league system for at least three years AND letting him continue with his UFC career (football career, whatever, same difference) is a fabulous idea. He better be Willie-Friggin’-Mays, mister.

    • That’s basically an argument for never drafting a pitcher. Injuries happen to everyone, and even the smallest and seemingly inconsequential injuries can have a lingering impact (see Snider and his wrist)

    • He can play in the minor league system – he’s not prevented from doing that by going to school.

    • He will play short season ball this year and the following ones. There is no three year wait. As for the injury risk, it is accounted for in the bonus. ~$800k for #36 (ranked) is like assuming there is a 30% to 50% chance injury or football eliminates him (above and beyond the regular attrition rate).

      Alford in the system for the cost of 1 year of Brian Tallet? I will fucking take that every time.

    • So you’re of the opinion that neither Smoral (due to his injury), Stroman (concerns about his size and durability) or Gonzales (past injury concerns) should have been drafted? He has stated that he WILL play baseball, and as signing with the Jays makes him ineligible to play NCAA, that likely means minor league camps, extended spring training, and maybe one of the short season leagues (that wrap up in the summer). It appears the Jays are attempting to tailor their demands on him to ensure he signs and is happy doing so. And it’s not like he’s going to spend the time away sitting on a couch somewhere snacking. He’ll be continuing to workout. If he decides to go through the NFL draft in a couple years and play football, or gets injured in the interim, the Jays took a risk with a very small amount of money, that was going to get spent anyways. It’s better than spending 15 million a year on some shitbag to fall apart and decline. Kid’s a risk, but what the hell, why not gamble once in awhile.

  28. Short, “athletic” (ahem, Stoeten) quarterbacks? Can you say CFL?

  29. I’ll find some money to sign him to the Argos too. I think I have enough left in my $30 budget.

    • ARRRGOOOSSS … Maybe Braley takes on an Ultra-Deep silent partner who kicks in a pile of money or even free rent … know anybody who might own a football stadium ?

  30. Reasons Why the Jays made a good pick

    1. He is guaranteed to be a Blue Jay when he realizes football is not his future.
    2. Jays will treat him like a high schooler they failed to sign, who will be guaranteed to be with them in 3-4 years without having to redraft him.
    3. They can put him in short season ball and track his progression.
    4. The only risk is injury and him getting a NFL contract.

  31. I’m assuming he;d had to pay the money back if he signs an nfl deal

    • I highly doubt that… Players that “retire” don’t have to give back their signing bonuses…

  32. hockey central at noon sucks

  33. Yet again, AA finds a way around constraints in the system. The biggest fear around the new CBA was the effect it was going to have on two sport athletes. This seems to be a relatively simple, if risky, way of getting around it.

  34. All I gotta say is AA is running some next level Jedi kinda game. If you look at all the deft moves he’s made over the last few years you gotta be excited for the future as a Jays fan. Homie’s got lots of brains, and serious balls.

  35. Give Boobie the ball.

  36. Also serious props to Alford… dude gets to ball out (take this in as loose a sense as you like) at Southern Miss and also gets paid! I tip my cap to you, sir!

  37. If the Jays sign Alford, Smoral, Davis and Stroman, they’ll have drafted 4 of the top 36 players from the BA 500.

  38. how does the guy graduate at 17?

  39. So are we all agreed then that an 18 year old, US college quarterback with a million dollars in his back pocket is going to get pretty seriously laid for the next few years of his life? So maybe the Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders comparisons are less accurate than, say, Wilt Chamberlain?

    • He may just be the luckiest man alive right now…..

      • 20,000 is the magic number

      • I think all the Ladies Man stuff (including Drew on the podcast) is in the same territory as the “athletic” label. What if this guy has a girlfriend, or no girlfriend, or otherwise not some kind of manwhore?

        This isn’t some Richard Roundtree character, for fuck’s sake. Give it a rest.

        • I think if he has a girlfriend, she should be feeling pretty insecure about that situation at the moment.

          • @Pete: because “athletic” guys just can’t stop putting their dicks everywhere!

            @Chill: I’m not disagreeing that he *could* VERY easily find, uh, multiple off-the-field successes, but that doesn’t mean he is that kind of guy. Why was no one saying this about Matt Smoral giving that up in his decision to turn pro? Goofy white Ohioan vs. smooth Southern black guy… hmmm….

          • At Southern Miss he will be getting more pussy than a rock star. And he won’t chae it around — it’s right on campus and it’ll chase him around. Minor league baseball just doesn’t compare.He’s an 18-year-old ffs. Give it time.

        • This has nothing to do with him being ‘athletic’. Even a ginger would get laid to the point of exhaustion in his situation. Anyone who goes to college or university with any intent to stay with their highschool girlfriend is either lying or stupid!

          Life is too short to remain monogamus at that age.

    • Probably won’t be a million, but a lot (though, taxes, agent fees… etc…)

      Anyway, dude should totally come out as gay, that would be awesome on a billion different levels…

  40. Some pundits (Law and Goldstein) don’t seem to like the deal, and I’m kind of at a loss as to why. I mean, it’s not ideal to have him playing baseball and football, obviously…. I think everyone gets that. However, so long as the $$ used to secure Alford’s rights doesn’t impact their ability to sign other top 10 draftees (doesn’t appear likely), and doesn’t affect their ability to sign FAs (it won’t), then I don’t see what the deal is. It’s $$ to secure a talent. It’s not my money.

    Maybe they think they should have not signed the pick and get comp’ed for it next year? I think a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush, personally, so I’m not sure why the opposition to it.

    Baseball “snobbery”?

  41. It’s spurious to equate Brett Favre’s career and having attended Southern Miss. Kurt Warner went to Northern Iowa, does that mean if you want to be a Super Bowl winning QB, you have a better chance to do so if you go there?

    List of Shitty (Football) Schools that Produced Starting Super Bowl QBs since 1980:
    Alcorn State, Augustana College, Delaware, Fresno State, Grambling State, Illinois, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Miami (OH), Morehead State, Northern Iowa, Southern Miss, Washington State, Youngstown State.

    By all means, attend any of these sub-prime programs, but don’t think that NFL success of previous grads means that you have any better chance of making it. It was over 20 years ago in the case of Favre at So. Miss; given the high attrition rates for personnel at successful smaller programs, it’s likely whole athletic programs (coaches, ADs, etc.) have turned over since then.

    Correlation does not equal causation, you guys.

    • you forgot Warner’s in-between step, bagging groceries, playing arena football, etc.

    • Washington State doesn’t really belong on that list. Too big, Div 1, Pac-12 … although of course they also produced Ryan Leaf so maybe.

  42. I hope he doesn’t turn into a piece of shit, like that butthead Drew Henson. Now there was waste of talent!

  43. I guess when your the Jays you can afford to roll the dice, looking at the other center field talent they have.

  44. When money’s limited, I guess giving the guys something else he wants (and was going to do anyways) + some money = a new inefficiency… or rather a recognition of one that’s been under utilized in the pas.

  45. You know what’s kind of funny in all of this: they’re signing most of those college seniors for under $10,000. Their 10th rounder signed for a grand. Crazy. I guess he wanted that more than the set of steak knives and the booklet of Golden Coral coupons.

  46. This is legal if the student is dropped from their scholarship.

    See also Jake Locker, was drafted and signed by the Angels while playing at UW.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *