Deion Sanders Rips Players Focusing On NIL, Reveals What Guys Should Focus On

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Jackson State coach Deion Sanders thinks players are paying way too much attention to potential NIL earnings.

Ever since players were allowed to cash in on name, image and likeness, the sport of college football has turned into the wild west with money being thrown all over the place. No situation shined more of a light on the situation than when Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher went after each other over alleged NIL deals.

However, Sanders thinks everyone needs to take a step back and realize that NIL is nothing more than peanuts and the NFL is where kids can make real money.

Deion Sanders believes players should focus on going pro over making NIL money. (Aron Smith/University Communications/Jackson State University via Getty Images)

“I want these kids to start back focusing on the NFL not the NIL. Now, you have kids not even thinking about the wonderful job Coach Saban has done and the track record he’s accumulated or the position coach. Does his scheme fit him? They’re thinking about NIL. If the money fits, I’ll go there, and that’s not the way to attack this thing because the NFL is what’s going to sustain you and maintain you. Not the NIL,” Sanders said during a Wednesday interview on ESPN.

There’s no doubt Deion Sanders is 100% correct when it comes to total earnings potential. There’s not an NIL deal in the world that can match what you could earn in the NFL.

For example, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Travon Walker’s fully guaranteed rookie deal is worth more than $37.3 million after being the first pick of the 2022 NFL draft.

There’s not an NIL deal that has happened so far that even comes close to that number.

Is NIL becoming a problem? (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Prior to the 2021 season, it was believed Alabama quarterback Bryce Young had NIL deals in place that were believed to be in the ballpark of $1 million.

Now that he won the Heisman, his value is even higher and he even appears in Dr. Pepper’s new Fansville commercial. However, it’s still not even close to the kind of money Young will earn on his rookie deal when he enters the NFL.

How much NIL money has Bryce Young earned? (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

No matter how you slice it, the NFL will always be your best bet to make money as a football player over depending on NIL cash. As Sanders pointed out, players aren’t looking at coaches who can help them get to the NFL.

Guys are now just looking at how much money they can make in the immediate future. That’s a very shortsighted way to address the situation.

Deion Sanders wants players to focus on the NFL over NIL. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

Hopefully, the best players have smart people around them guiding them to the best programs to help them go pro and not just focus on cashing in on NIL.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

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