He should ignore the arbitrary and absurd NFL eligibility age-limit — the league might be able to keep him from playing professional football until May 2014, but they can’t keep him from being a pro, status earned not by getting paid to actually play football, but simply by getting paid to be a football player.
He should immediately start training full-time for the NFL Draft with a quarterback guru like George Whitfield — something he already has done this year and a full-time move he likely will make in January anyway. His NFL stock won’t get higher by playing another season of college football — not as much as it would if he single-mindedly dedicated the next nine months to preparing himself to actually play in the NFL. Among other propagated myths, college football has never been about prioritizing an individual player’s NFL development.
And he should immediately start cashing in on his celebrity status: The massive shoe and apparel deal. The sports-drink deal. The trading-card deal. The dozens of other marketing deals waiting for the most popular college football player West of Tebow.
Food for thought. Money in college sports is a runaway train. We personally don't think college athletes should be paid because 1) you have to draw the line somewhere and 2) Those on full scholarships are already getting, in many cases, a six-figure compensation over the duration of their time. Is it gross that the NCAA makes tons of money without much overhead in terms of its talent? Yes. But paying players isn't the solution.
Your thoughts on Manziel, the NCAA and money in the comments, please.