RWU HQ – For those of you who follow my writing at Meet The Matts, I often tie in some of the hit late night talk show segments into my columns.
Well, for the first time I’m bringing that aspect of my writing to Rugby Wrap Up.
At the end of this season New England Patriots special teams ace, and former rugger, Nate Ebner will have a decision to make.
Ebner will become a free agent in March and has two choices; stay in the NFL and sign another contract or make a run for a spot on Team USA for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
I’m taking a page out of Jimmy Fallon’s book and weighing the good with the bad in Pros and Cons.
This week we’ll look at the pros and cons of staying in the NFL and next week we’ll analyze the idea of heading back to rugby.
Here we go!
He has a spot in New England.
Pro: From the moment he stepped in New England Patriots headquarters in Foxboro in 2012, Ebner has fit in as a prototypical Patriot. If there’s one thing New England head coach Bill Bellichick is known for, it’s drafting, trading for and signing players that fit a specific role. And the dual-sport athlete fits like a glove. Ebner has a knack for special teams and because of that he’s made a role for himself on game day. Considering it won’t take much to resign him, Ebner should be seeing a new contract coming his way in the offseason.
Con: It’s New England. Sure Ebner has already won a Super Bowl ring and could very well be on his way to another in the coming months, there’s a chance he might not be enjoying his time in New England. It takes a special type of player to play for Bellichick, and there’s a chance his head coach’s act could be growing old. When Ebner hits free agency in the offseason there isn’t a guarantee that he’ll get offered a contract by another team because the former rugger is just a special teams guy at this point in his career, and it’s unknown how many teams are out there will to spend a spot on the 53-man on a player that primarily contributes on special teams.
He’ll play for a Super Bowl every year.
Pro: By staying in the NFL next year, and with the Patriots, Ebner will have a shot to win the Super Bowl each and every year. If Ebner leaves the NFL it’ll most likely to be to try and make Team USA for the Olympics. Let’s be honest, the Patriots have a better chance at winning the Super Bowl next year than the United States does at winning the gold medal. And everybody likes to win.
There could be a pay increase.
Pro: If Ebner signs a contract with the Patriots or any other team this offseason, he’ll get himself a bit of a pay increase. It won’t be much, but considering Ebner had a base salary of $660,000 this season, there’s a chance he could push for $1 million next year. Buffalo Bills special teams ace Marcus Easley just signed his second contract this offseason and earned over $1 million this year. It’s very possible that Ebner could be in that range as well.
Con: Is there one? Who wouldn’t love to make $1 million a year for 15 plays a game for roughly 18 games each season?
Make sure to check back next week as we look at the pros and cons of bolting the NFL.
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