Lorenzo Neal and the Kingdom of the Glass Ceiling


I came across this article on Yahoo! Sports about Lorenzo Neal still being jobless heading into June. I don’t know what’s more remarkable, his lack of suitors or the Chargers letting him go in the first place. Sure, the man is on the back half of his thirties, but he’s healthy and all signs point toward Neal being a good guy in the locker room. The fact he’s not heading to a minicamp in the coming weeks is odd.

As I scrolled and clicked through other stories, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that teams are more apt to get a guy with potential over age and experience.

Each season the top picks in the draft are getting more and more cash simply because of potential. If this up-and-comer has a shady past, that only costs him a few spots, maybe a few million bucks. I get the fact that drafted rook contracts are more bloated than the season premiere of “The Biggest Loser’, but it seems that established, battle hardened middle-to-top tier guys are being passed over, like a Lorenzo Neal.

We are in the Not For Long league, but is every general manager just scratching the draft lottery and hoping they have the next Cinderella story on their board? Are teams willing to pass on solid players to hope for a miracle that becomes the big thing? What’s better, a safe present or crossing your fingers for the future?

At any rate, while Matt Ryan is in his new crib counting money, Lorenzo Neal is waiting by the phone. I know they play two vastly different positions and their journey into the NFL was unique, but the simple fact remains: potential is rewarded over experience. The longshot is preferred over the sure thing.