Usain Bolt says he’s had offers but would never consider the NFL

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The fastest human being who ever lived has heard that NFL teams would give him a chance if he wanted to play football. But he doesn’t.

Usain Bolt said on the Dan Patrick Show that he has watched some football and has been offered the opportunity to play, but he wouldn’t want to get hit.

“I used to watch it when I was younger,” he said. “The hits guys would take kind of turned me off. I never thought about going but I’ve gotten offered and people have asked.”

It’s unclear whether Bolt ever heard directly from an NFL team or if he just heard generally that there would be interest if he wanted to play. It wouldn’t be surprising if some team sent feelers to Bolt, just as NFL teams have at times reached out to professional rugby players and shot putters and other athletes who have NFL athleticism. Jahvid Best was a very fast running back by NFL standards, but Bolt easily beat him in an Olympic preliminary heat, showing how much faster he is than even the fastest NFL players. If the 6-foot-5 Bolt had been born in the United States instead of Jamaica, he might have become the greatest wide receiver in NFL history.

But Bolt is wise to turn down any offers. The greatest sprinter ever doesn’t need to risk his health trying a new sport as a lark.

40 responses to “Usain Bolt says he’s had offers but would never consider the NFL

  1. At least he was honest about not wanting to play. Being able to “be the best WR ever” means playing semi concussed on partially torn MCL’s , perpetually sprained ankles with broken fingers and bruised ribs.

    Football players are a special breed of tough. The kind of tough that would make most of us miss work even though we sit at computers all day.

  2. The type of money he makes from track is incredible. Why risk brain injury for a few years and not even be the best at what he does. I love football but I don’t blame him at all.

  3. He’d receive backlash from his fellow players. Anyone see him stop an interview in Rio when our National Anthem played so he could show respect? That kind of respect wouldn’t fly in today’s NFL.

  4. “If the 6-foot-5 Bolt had been born in the United States instead of Jamaica, he might have become the greatest wide receiver in NFL history.”

    Couldn’t be further from the truth. Look at Ted Ginn for example, world class speed that didn’t translate into a good WR. (Let alone the greatest in NFL history)

    On the flip side, Jerry Rice ran I believe a 4.5 or a 4.6….

  5. I like football, but if you have options to make the same or more money doing something else you would be stupid not to take them.

    Football careers are too short and the sport leaves long-term physical and mental damage upon even the most successful.

  6. Doesn’t mean he has hands. Plenty of track stars have come and gone in the NFL because the only thing they can catch is a plane home.

  7. He’s already made millions. Why risk the long term physical ailments the NFL can/could bring him.

    He’s smart to stick with what he does best.

  8. I mean, he still has to be able to have some catching talent. Unless, the team uses the Forrest Gump strategy, give him the ball and tell him to “run that way”, which might actually work now that I think about it.

  9. Jam him at the line, flatten him when he goes across the middle….. Dude has to be able to do more than just run fast. Need to be able to run route trees, block, oh yeah, and catch the ball. Try catching the ball when you know you are about to get flattened by an NFL linebacker who will not worry about that .5 second faster you may run BC he won’t be giving you a chance.

    Running fast is cool. Just BC a figure skater can skate good doesn’t mean they can play hockey.

  10. Obviously not anywhere near Usain Bolt, but I have always been the fastest person on any sports team I ever played on growing up and now as an adult in recreational leagues.

    My speed got me on a semi pro team as a wide receiver, but I’ll be the first to admit that I sucked at wideout. My speed was actually a hindrance in a way, because I had such a hard time breaking in and out of my cuts without rounding them off. Basically if it wasn’t a nine route or a drag, I wasn’t good at it. I will say that the one place my speed really helped me was on special teams. I was awesome at gunner. But somehow I doubt Usain Bolt has any interest in being a fifth receiver/special teams player. Because that is what is most likely, especially if he can’t catch. And catching a football with pads on isn’t as easy as catching a pass during a thanksgiving turkey bowl game, as I’m sure that a lot of you know.

  11. Sep 24, 2016 8:56 AM
    PFT: “If the 6-foot-5 Bolt had been born in the United States instead of Jamaica, he might have become the greatest wide receiver in NFL history.”

    Okay, let me stop you there. That is one of the most absurd statements I’ve seen made in a while – and shows such a criminal lack of understanding of the game.

    Becoming the greatest wide receiver in NFL history involves one whole hell of a lot more than being a tall man who can run the fastest in a straight line while unfettered (e.g., hands, athleticism, body positioning when the ball is in the air, technique such as high-pointing, explosion in and out of cuts – versus being a long strider like Bolt, dependability, precision route-running, willing to eat contact over and over and over again, coachability, football speed versus track speed, willingness to play through pain, football smarts, versatility versus being a one-trick pony with only one tool for defenses to guard against, the ability to dig deep under great adversity, durability, etc.).

  12. There is a precedent for this. Look up Bob Hayes. He played wide receiver for the Cowboys

    He was officially inducted in Canton, Ohio on August 8, 2009. Hayes is the second Olympic gold medalist to be inducted to the Hall of Fame, after Jim Thorpe.
    Once considered the world’s fastest man by virtue of his multiple world records in the 60-yard, 100-yard, 220-yard, and Olympic 100-meter dashes. Hayes is the only athlete to win both an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl ring. Hayes has been credited by many with forcing the NFL to develop a zone defense and the bump and run to attempt to contain him

  13. I think getting hit that much and that hard and taking it is from getting used to it over time. It’s hard for non-contact sport athletes to adjust.

    Willie Gault played college football. Renaldo Nehamiah got crushed over the middle once and was never the same. He did not play football before the NFL.

  14. Ridiculous.

    Love Bolt – but the idea of a 30yr old sprinter with no football experience just joining the NFL is a joke.

  15. Still going to say if he and Tyson Gay were the same height he would never beat him running. Also, high school Randy Moss > high school Bolt.

    Moss ran 10.3 just off of raw talent with no sprint coach.

  16. It would be fun to see. This guy has out of this world class speed. He blows away runners with world class speed. I don’t know how good his hands are but I’d just like to see how it looked with the NFL’s fasted DBs trying to run with him.

  17. Yeah people, we get it. You need hands and route skills to play WR. That said, Usain Bolt is MUCH faster than the fastest NFL player and he’s 6’5″ to boot. Think a better version of Randy Moss, if he could catch. Y’all are acting like you know his hands would be bad. Even if his hands were average, he could be great because he’d be wide open on go routes all day. Heck, he wouldn’t need a route tree. Ain’t nobody keeping up with that guy running a straight line. And the CB has to backpedal? Please.

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