Last month, we talked about Maurice Clarett’s decision to pass up $410,000 in guaranteed money to sign an incentive-laden deal that could’ve been worth as much as $7 million. At the time, the general consensus was that, while forgoing the guaranteed cash showed just how confident Clarett was in his ability, it was a move that could come back to bite him in the ass.
Well, chomp chomp, I guess.
NFL.com’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the Denver Broncos will likely cut Clarett, the last pick in the third round of April’s draft, before the season starts. Of course, the kick-in-the-nuts irony about all of this for Clarett is, Denver likely would’ve stashed him on the IR all season had they invested any guaranteed money in him, allowing Clarett to recover from his groin injury. But since Clarett passed on his signing bonus, the Broncos apparently are ready to cut their losses with the former Ohio State back because, as Steffer says:
“One of the biggest reasons Clarett is not expected to make it in Denver is the lack of maturity he demonstrated during the summer. He had a warped perception of his talents, thus bypassing a signing bonus for incentives. Clarett also agitated some of his teammates for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was conducting national TV interviews before he had accomplished anything on the field — or even gotten on the field.”
As a Buckeyes fan, I must confess a certain amount of personal satisfaction with this story. Clarett’s ego has always surpassed his talent, and that ego has once again cost him dearly. Granted, he’ll likely find another job in a matter of weeks, but it’s nice to see a punk like Clarett get knocked off his all-too-high horse again.
Though I must admit, the conspiracy theorist in me wonders if this wasn’t what Clarett had planned all along. Think about it — he gets drafted in the third round by a team with a glut of backfield talent, and he recognizes immediately that he’s not going to see the field anytime soon. So what does he do? He signs an incentive-laden deal that makes it that much easier for the Broncos to cut him, then he sulks and pouts and half-asses his way through camp with an injury that many of his teammates and coaches question the severity of, and now he could be on his way to becoming a free agent with the ability to choose the team that offers him the best chance to succeed. Sure, it’s a complicated, underhanded and far-fetched plan, but considering Clarett’s history of complications and underhandedness, would you really be surprised?