The Olympics are long gone, a symbol of a summer that has faded into the forgotten rearview as we fix our eyes on a fall of football. Usain Bolt, on the other hand, continues to outlast our short memories.
The legendary Jamaican track star, who won three golds for the third straight Olympics in Rio, is soon to retire from international competitions and may be looking for new athletic ventures. Apparently, NFL teams are interested in his services.
On Friday's edition of The Dan Patrick Show, Bolt explained that he has been contacted by certain franchises about playing wide receiver, but has declined any and all offers.
"I've never really thought about going," Bolt told Patrick, "but I've gotten offers, and people have asked me."
So Bolt to the Shield is probably off the table. But let's have our imaginations run wild.
Bolt stands at six-foot-five and 207 pounds; for comparison, Jets wideout Brandon Marshall, one of the league's tallest and most physical wideouts, is six-foot-four and 230 pounds. When completely healthy, Bolt can run a 9.58 100-meter dash. However, his 40-time is around 4.64, an average mark for a wide receiver coming out of the draft. (With adjustments for reaction time, running surface, etc., Bolt's time would actually be 4.20 seconds.)
Bolt has the height and speed to be a deep threat for someone like Robert Griffin III or Joe Flacco, who have taken a liking to tossing up jump balls. However, he doesn't have the body, or the experience with the physicality in the league, to withstand hits across the middle. It's easier to outpace Justin Gatlin for 10 seconds than to deal with Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor for 40 snaps per game, and even Bolt recognizes that.
"I used to watch [football] when I was younger, and the hits that the guys used to take," Bolt continued. "I know that it is not as bad now, but the hits that the guys would take kind of turned me off."
For what it's worth, one of the most physical receivers in the league, Julio Jones, also thinks the Bolt-to-NFL nonsense is unwarranted.
"You've got to have that burst to get going. Like Justin Gatlin," Jones explained in August. "Justin Gatlin gets out quick. There's like a bunch of Justin Gatlins in football. They get to that speed quick and they can catch it before you open up. So it would be hard for Bolt to really pull away from guys in football."
That's right. Take your slow-starting, showboating shtick elsewhere, Bolt! Or come to the NFL and bring your outsized spirit and electric smile to our stadia. Either or. We're waiting.