NFL Rumors: Jaylon Smith Signs Four-Year Contract with Dallas Cowboys
Former Notre Dame Linebacker Jaylon Smith has just signed in a $6.494-million four-year rookie contract with Dallas Cowboys last Friday's NFL draft. The problem looming on everyone's mind is when he will actually be sent out to the field to play. Pundits are already predicting he might not be able to play this season.
Smith was the fifth draftee the Dallas Cowboys chose with their 34th overall pick as part of its roster which would now include Ezekiel Elliot in the first round. The 20-year-old linebacker is due to receive $2.9 million sign in bonus as part of his rookie deal, ESPN reported.
Prior to the draft, Smith was viewed as part of the league's Top 5-10 rookie prospects for the 2015-16 college football season before sustaining an almost career-ending knee injury during the Fiesta bowl. The injury was serious enough to put his football hopes nearly to a halt following a torn ACL and LCL and nerve damage.
"It's just understanding that everyone is dealt their own hand and just dealing with that," Smith said as per Chicago Tribune report. "I don't want people to be sad for me or mad, because I'm not sad for myself. I look at it as an opportunity for growth."
The nerve damage to his peroneal nerve could have precariously jeopardized his chances of playing on the NFL field in a hundred percent form. For some reason, the Cowboys seemed to have placed their faith in his potential. In addition, it was the team doctor, Dr. Dan Cooper, who performed surgical procedure on Smith's injured knee.
Now that he's already signed in, the task at hand is how and when to get him back to the field in full and healthy form. Nevertheless, Dallas seemed quite hopeful after a medical check after the surgery concluded that Smith's injured knee is now deemed okay. His peroneal nerve damage remains big threat to his recovery.
"I got a chance to work my butt off and at the re-check it was actually a huge day for me because I got to show how well I was doing and it was confirmed that my knee is not an issue at all. So that's half of the equation, secured and knocked out," Smith said as quoted by Football Insiders.
"But for me now, it's understanding the nerve and I'm in a great organization with the Dallas Cowboys and Dr. Dan Cooper did my surgery - he's the team doctor here - so no one knows my injury more than the Cowboys and I'm just thankful to be here."