In a week that saw the Big Ten leaning toward a fall season, a pair of former Ohio State players in the NFL had a big week.
Last off-season saw New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas cash in on the largest wide receiver contract in NFL history. Now, offensive tackle Taylor Decker, who was a key piece in the 2014 National Championship team, signed a 5-year, $70.35 million contract extension with the Detroit Lions on Tuesday.
Along with the likes of a contract extension signed by Joey Bosa earlier this off-season (5-year, $135 million extension with the Los Angeles Chargers), Decker added to the recent cash crop that being a former Ohio State football player has become.
Decker was rewarded for covering Matthew Stafford blindside for five years, and will now be joined by fellow Buckeye guard Jonah Jackson on the line (although Jackson may not start in Detroit) and cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, who also had a big off-season with his selection as the third overall pick back in late April.
The second former Buckeye to have a big week was Dwayne Haskins Jr., who was named the starter at quarterback for the Washington Football Team on Wednesday. Although it may not be a great shock from the outside looking in, any time an off-and-on starter can secure his job on the coattails of a 3-13 season with a new coach coming in is a win in itself.
Haskins Jr. also has the distinction of being the only former Ohio State quarterback starting in the NFL. His readiness to improve Washington has already been tested in practice by No. 2 overall pick and fellow Ohio State alum Chase Young, who has been delivering heavy pressure against Haskins in practice.
Haskins also has a former teammate to throw to in Terry McLaurin, who had an impressive rookie season, leading Washington in receptions (58), receiving yards (919), and touchdowns (7), and was a dependable target for Haskins and now-departed Case Keenum.
For Decker and Haskins, the week before the kickoff of the NFL season was a good one, and they will both look to carry the momentum over into Week One for two teams who won just 3 games each in 2019.