Scanning my twitter account Friday morning, I came across a quote from former John Tyler star Aaron Ross that had me ready to pounce. Ross called last season playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars "a nice paid vacation to Florida."
The audacity of an overpaid athlete!
That quote, taken by itself, is Ross basically admitting that he took the money and ran to a lowly NFL franchise and then mailed it in while the Jaguars went 2-14.
By the way, the 30-year-old Ross was released by Jacksonville in the offseason and has re-signed with his beloved New York Giants.
Ross, a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Giants, took advantage of a desperate Jacksonville club willing to overpay for a cornerback with a history of leg injuries.
He signed a three-year deal that could have paid him more than $15 million — far more than the Giants were offering the free agent — and turned in a disappointing 2012 season. Ross had nine starts, three pass breakups, zero interceptions and another injury that cost him two games.
The "paid vacation" to Florida also included a trip to the Summer Olympics in London — at the Jaguars' blessing — to watch his beautiful wife, sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross, win a gold medal.
While it appears that Ross opted to sink to the level of a bad team instead of trying to elevate it, I appreciate his honesty in admitting that it was all about the money in going to Jacksonville. Far too often, professional athletes say "it's not about the money" when us average Joes know better.
Ross told NFL Network's "NFL AM" during his "paid vacation" interview that "I had to think about the family, setting us up long-term, so of course the money comes to mind.
"But winning is everything, man. It takes the joy away when you're losing and the only thing to get you through it is the paycheck when you're losing."
I believe Ross when he talks about how important winning is and how the money is more of a nice consolation prize when you're losing. I believe the majority of NFL players feel the exact same way and value winning over simply cashing a check.
After getting cut by Jacksonville, which has a new head coach, Ross went from a player with all the power to simply an aging cornerback with no power. He happily returned to the Giants for one year and $780,000, and only his $65,000 signing bonus is guaranteed.