Originally written on Oregon Sports News  |  Last updated 11/15/14

It’s easy for me to sit here and talk about how dumb Darron Thomas must be to leave Oregon and enter the NFL draft a year early. If you look at it from a deeper level, though, you might come to realize what I have: that Thomas might just have made the right decision.

As Oregon’s all-time leader in touchdown passes, Thomas helped take the Ducks to heights the team had never before reached, including a 12-0 regular season in 2010 and an appearance in the BCS national championship. He also threw for 268 yards in Oregon’s first Rose Bowl victory since 1917. So, to be sure, Thomas was a great fit for Chip Kelly and the innovative Oregon offense.

And, after seeing Oregon’s 2012 football schedule, it’s easy to realize that Oregon has the best track to make it into next year’s national title game. Knowing that, it’s hard to imagine why Darron Thomas, a player with little to no NFL future, would give that up and declare himself for the 2012 draft.

Until you remember where it is Thomas came from, and who is waiting to take over his starting job. We’ll start with the latter; redshirt freshman Bryan Bennett was more than impressive in his appearances this year, and he even replaced a struggling Thomas in the second half of a win against Washington State. Entering his sophomore year, Bennett would have surely competed for the starting job. And when you consider the fact that Kelly holds position battles every single year, Thomas knew that he would have had to beat Bennett to get the starting job. Not many quarterbacks who have led their teams to consecutive BCS bowl appearances would be willing to do that.

You may also remember from an ESPN segment or some past article you’ve read that Thomas comes from a humble past. His mother still works at Target and barely gets by, and she was more than sad that he left her Texas home to move all the way to Eugene, Oregon, a place she knew she couldn’t afford to visit.

In addition, Thomas has been caught in his share of sticky situations, including run-ins with the law with both Jeremiah Masoli and Cliff Harris, a pair of former teammates who were kicked off the Oregon football team.

Taking all of that into account, along with the notion that another year at Oregon likely wouldn’t improve his draft stock – Oregon is still built on the running game – Thomas’ decision isn’t so crazy after all.

Even if he doesn’t get drafted or signed to a free agent deal with an NFL team, Thomas will get a chance to play in the CFL, earn a six-figure salary, and make a name for himself. For a young football player in such a terrible economy, the opportunity to earn that much money early in life makes a lot of sense, especially since he’s so supportive of the mother who did everything she could for him during his upbringing.

What would one more year at Oregon have brought him? A chance at a national title, and little more. The risk/reward of suffering a devastating injury or losing his starting job is incredibly low, considering his draft stock likely couldn’t get much higher than it is right now. What will leaving Oregon do for him now? He’ll make a great deal of money, be able to support his family, and leave his starting job behind on his own accord.

And that’s a pretty darn good deal.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

Report: 49ers to part ways with Harbaugh after season finale

Brad Stevens shoots down rumors he's headed to Hoosiers

Jameis Winston cleared in code of conduct case

Sherman: Patrick Peterson would be benched on Seahawks

Fans struck by lightning after Buccaneers-Packers game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Philip Rivers playing through painful back injury

Report: Bears could have interest in Jim Harbaugh

Report: Shanahan interested in coaching next season

Report: Michigan has its eye on several NFL coaches

Report: Titans, Jay Cutler have mutual interest in trade

Phillies GM told Ryan Howard team is better off without him

10 takeaways from NFL Week 16

Tony Romo leads Dallas Cowboys to NFC East title

Ole Miss QB arrested after fighting, threatening bouncers

WATCH: Marshawn Lynch's ridiculous TD run

WATCH: Steelers' Gay draws flag for taunting teammate

WATCH: Three players ejected after Giants-Rams fight

WATCH: Dominic Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

WATCH: Arian Foster throws TD pass, drops scoreboard taunt

WATCH: Johnny Manziel leaves with injury after taking big hit

NHL has warned 22 players about diving

Nick Mangold wears NYDP hat to honor fallen officers

Five things we learned from the first day of bowl games

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

10 takeaways from NFL Week 16

Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

Bears interested in Jim Harbaugh?

Shanahan to return to 2015?

Browns interested in drafting Mariota?

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Tom Izzo hot after bad loss

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.