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If pay were equal, Bills' Goodwin said he'd choose track over football

If pay were equal, Bills' Goodwin said he'd choose track over football
Posted at 10:43 AM, Jun 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-10 10:44:37-04

When he first entered the National Football League, former Buffalo Bills third-round pick and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin came in always trying to steer the original narrative.

Goodwin, who also participated in track and field while at the University of Texas, wanted to let everyone know that he actually wasn't just a track guy masquerading as a football player. Even on his initial conference call in 2013, it was the first topic discussed:

"I’m a football guy that just happens to run track because I just got drafted by the Buffalo Bills," Goodwin said.

The wide receiver showed some promise in his rookie season, but injuries have derailed his career through the first three seasons. He landed on Injured Reserve during the 2013 season, missed another six games during the 2014 campaign, and then once again had his season cut short in 2015 by being put on the Injured Reserve list.

In three seasons, Goodwin has 20 career catches -- and just three receptions over the last two seasons.

Now, this summer, the Bills wide receiver is poised to train for the 2016 Olympics in Rio as a long jumper, and has abstained from all of the team's offseason workouts to do so. The Bills are aware, and Rex Ryan has even gone out of his way to say how much they support his quest to do so.

So now, heading into his fourth year in the NFL, Goodwin was asked during a Facebook Live event with The MMQB's Emily Kaplan the following:

If the pay were equal, would he rather do track or football full time? A question that Goodwin said he gets asked all the time, but answered it publicly for the first time on Thursday:

"I would definitely do track and field, man," Goodwin revealed. "Football was my opportunity to advance my life… kind of get a head start on life and put my family in a position to where they wouldn’t want for as much. I felt like track and field wouldn’t grant me that opportunity, being that I had a greater chance at making the amount of money that I do playing football, as opposed to going to track and field, and I would make it a lot sooner. Not saying I wouldn’t make it in track and field, but, I would make it pretty much at a guaranteed rate in football."

On Wednesday, Rex Ryan said that the situation for Goodwin wasn't ideal in terms of missing time from the team, but reiterated that the Olympic hopeful will still have a chance. If Goodwin gets to the Olympics and qualifies for the finals -- which are set for August 13 -- the earliest he could get back to the Bills with travel would likely be for their morning practice on August 15 at St. John Fisher College.

By that time, Goodwin will have only five training camp practices and three preseason games to show the Bills enough to make the roster, while the other wide receivers have all spring and summer. In the meantime, Goodwin will continue to train for the Summer Games down in Texas.

The fourth-year wideout was also asked which fans were "more intense:" Bills fans, or track fans?

"Bills fans, 100-percent. Track fans are very, very, very, very, very, very positive all the time. Very rarely… never have I heard a track sports fan say, ‘This person sucks,’ or, ‘We don’t want you to train in our city.’ You know, ‘We don’t want this and that.’ And a lot of that has to do with a lot of track fans really don’t drink alcohol at the events," Goodwin said, and then cited nationalism and pride as a reason why track fans were always so positive, which is a fair point.

"Nothing against my Bills fans," he said. "We serve beer, we’re going to have some fun."

Goodwin is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and due to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2016 season.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia