There is no NFL or Nike deal, but look for the world’s fastest man to seek one last “perfect season,” then move on.
Usain Bolt crossed the line first in the Olympic men’s 4x100-metre final nine days ago, collecting yet another gold medal and still more acclaim as history’s greatest sprinter.
The win kept Bolt undefeated in Olympic finals, and made him the only sprinter ever to win triple gold in three straight games. Since 2008, no athlete has outrun Bolt in a world or Olympic final.
Bolt, now 30, isn’t in his prime anymore. The 9.81 seconds he ran the 100 metres in wouldn’t have landed him on the podium at the London Games, where he ran an Olympic record 9.63. But even with sprinters like Markham’s Andre De Grasse gaining ground, Bolt remains a step ahead of in terms of both speed and accolades.
As he races toward a career crossroads, it’s natural to ask what comes next for the world’s fastest man.
“He’s truly one of the first global superstars (in track),” says Brian Levine, the head of Toronto-based Envision Sports and Entertainment, who works with De Grasse and Canadian heptathlete Brianne Theisen-Eaton. “It’s just like Bob Marley before Bolt. If Usain was American, would he be embraced the same way around the world? I don’t think so.”
Bolt’s hasn’t announced his plans, and the silence has created a vacuum filled by speculation and sky-scrapingly tall tales.
In the U.S., thoughts on Bolt’s post-rack plans defaulted to football.
“I don’t know if he could survive, but he’d scare a lot of people,” analyst and former NFL head coach Tony Dungy told the NFL Network. “I would use him as a wide receiver. We would definitely clear out one side of the field because he is so explosive and fast it would (be) fun to see him on the football field.”
But the Bolt-to-the-NFL talk assumes the sprinter is interested in a pay cut. He’ll make an estimated $33 million this year, while the NFL’s highest-paid receiver, the Bengals’ A.J. Green, makes $15 million.
When Bolt returns to competition, it will be for one more season on the track. He plans to run through the 2017 world championships in London. A victory lap on the track circuit could pay Bolt handsomely, with his third set of Olympic gold medals boosting an appearance fee that is already reported at $400,000.
And Bolt has also discussed lowering his 200-metre world record, even though the current time — 19.19 seconds — doesn’t leave much to trim. That record came in 2009, when Bolt had 9.58 speed over 100 metres and no major injuries. Staying healthy after 30 is a steeper challenge.
“The one thing I’ve never had is a perfect season,” Bolt told Sports Illustrated earlier this year. “No injuries, everything smooth, and see how fast I could run.”
He can’t seem to outrun the questionable reports about his future flickering across social media.
One story, published at a site called OnDaMic.com and sourced to “The Jamaica Press,” says Bolt will give his entire Olympic earnings to the high school he attended.
But that site’s home page is larded with false stories, like Queen Elizabeth’s death and Bolt’s arrest, and Googling “The Jamaica Press” returns results for a printing company in England.
Meanwhile, World Star Jamaica “reported” that Nike had signed Bolt to a lifetime endorsement deal.
Problem. Bolt has worn Puma for his entire reign as the world’s top sprinter, and remains under contract to the brand.
But the false reports hint at where Bolt could head next. He should remain as marketable in retirement as Michael Jordan and Peyton Manning have.
And actual news outlets reported that Bolt did donate $1.3 million and sports equipment to his alma mater. Read More at Orginal source