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Notre Dame Football: Jeff Samardzija Has NFL-Type Money — and None of the Pain

Recent profile shows former Notre Dame wide receiver certainly made the correct choice when he abandoned NFL dreams for an MLB job.

San Francisco Giants Photo Day Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

I recall thinking when former Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Jeff Samardzija committed himself to baseball that it was the wrong choice.

Samardzija, I reasoned, wasn’t talented enough to make an impact in the major leagues. He would bounce between Triple A and the majors because of his erratic control, which I assumed he’d never tame.

I was wrong.

Scott Miller, Bleacher Report’s national MLB columnist, recently profiled the northern Indiana product and drew a comparison that Samardzija had been making himself — one that compared Samardzija to former Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

Johnson was given the Biletnikoff Award following the 2006 season, with Samardzija finishing in second. Johnson went on to have a very good nine-year career with the Detroit Lions, which is now over. The man dubbed Megatron has aches and pains in his body from playing that he reasons will never go away. His reward for that sacrifice? About $113.8 million.

Samardzija, a career 59-77 pitcher who has played for four different professional teams, has already earned $120 million. And, at 32, he shows no signs of stopping.

Check out the profile. It does a good job taking you inside the mind of Samardzija, who definitely wondered up until this year if he had made the right choice.


In January 2007, did you agree with Jeff Samardzija’s decision to pursue a baseball career?

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    (335 votes)
  • 34%
    No. He should have pursued an NFL career.
    (178 votes)
513 votes total Vote Now


With the benefit of hindsight, which path should have Jeff Samardzija chosen in 2007?

This poll is closed

  • 93%
    The one that leads to MLB
    (476 votes)
  • 6%
    The one that leads to the NFL
    (31 votes)
507 votes total Vote Now