1. Money talks
With the NFL Draft being as stacked as it is, Etienne overall made a money decision.
There’s a huge difference in overall contract worth for the No. 1 or No. 2 overall running back taken in a draft versus the No. 4 or No. 5 running back taken.
Should we assume that Etienne would’ve gone No. 5 this year and he goes No. 1 next year- in terms of running backs- he is going to make somewhere between $9-$11 million extra next season than he would’ve made this year by declaring, according to the trend set by previous RB contracts.
Because running backs have a short shelf life, they need that first contract to be the best. There’s no guarantee that a running back is even going to get a second contract, so they want to make the most on the first one.
When looking at that fact, it’s pretty simple to see why Etienne is returning for his senior season. Money talks and he’s making a decision that he believes is going to greatly affect his family as a result.