Track stars have enjoyed a steady history of NFL crossovers or being sought-after commodities, but Usain Bolt has created his own tier in that sport and resides as an all-time great athlete. However, he did not want to follow in the footsteps of Bob Hayes, Willie Gault, Renaldo Nehemiah or Michael Bates by converting into an NFL player.
Offers came his way, however.
“I used to watch [the NFL] when I was younger,” Bolt said on the Dan Patrick Show, via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. “The hits guys would take kind of turned me off. I never thought about going but I’ve gotten offered and people have asked.”
The 6-foot-5, 207-pound Jamaican did not specify which teams offered him or what kind of interest surfaced as he made his historic ascent over the past eight years, but given how much faster he is than other nations’ best sprinters, he could have displayed a different level of pure speed on the gridiron. That said, the lankier sprinter peaks after around the 50-meter mark, blazing by competition in the second halves of 100-meter dashes, so his otherworldly gifts might not be best suited for the short-area bursts football requires.
However, much like the alternate reality of a potential LeBron James NFL path, the 6-foot-5 Bolt creates an interesting what-if scenario due to his stature. Although, despite being a nine-time Olympic champion and owner of the world record in each of the three events in which he competes, Bolt has never played football. The Cavaliers superstar excelled at the game until becoming a one-sport athlete after his junior year of high school.
Here’s more from around the league amid Week 3.
- Newly signed running back Ronnie Hillman‘s deal with the Vikings is a one-year pact worth the prorated league minimum of $760K, and contains no guaranteed money, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link). The Broncos owed Hillman $400K in guaranteed salary when they cut him three weeks ago, but his contract with them had offset language, per Mike Klis of 9News. That means the Broncos won’t have to pick up the tab if Hillman’s on the Vikings’ active roster for nine weeks.
- John Fox‘s team enters a Sunday-night Cowboys tilt at 0-2, but the second-year Bears coach didn’t second-guess his team for passing on fourth-round pick Dak Prescott in the draft. “Truth be told, I don’t know how much we would be talking about Dak,” Fox said, via Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times. “A lot of it in this case has been the opportunity, and he’s made the most of it. I’m not downgrading what he’s accomplished, but it’s how a lot of guys make their mark. Everybody starts off as a nobody, they get an opportunity, they have success, and now everybody’s aware of them.” Prescott enters Week 3 having completed 63% of his passes for 519 yards in relief of Tony Romo. He’s yet to throw a touchdown pass
- As they did through most of an offseason that began with Lamar Miller joining the Texans, the Dolphins are again scrambling at running back now that Arian Foster suffered another injury. This has led to scrutiny of Miami’s ground game. “I understand what they’ve done with that offensive line down there; it makes sense in a lot of ways,” one NFC personnel man said this week, via Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, “but I see good, technically sound pass protectors. Which one of those guys is a [butt]-kicker? Which one of those guys buries people? And they’re relying on Arian Foster. He’s injured this week, right? Is that a surprise? I don’t know about all that coming together.” The Dolphins are currently playing once-projected No. 1 overall pick Laremy Tunsil out of position at left guard, and Mike Pouncey is out due to injury. The Fins rank 27th in rushing through two games and will now go with a committee in all likelihood to replace Foster while he’s sidelined.
Connor Byrne contributed to this report.