Cardale Jones decided to hold a press conference at his high school in Cleveland yesterday to announce he would be staying at Ohio State instead of opting for the NFL Draft. Many thought the idea of holding a presser to make this decision was an oddity, including Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who joined WQAM to discuss it.

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“I don’t want to focus it all on Cardale Jones although he’s the natural focus,” Florio said on the Joe Rose Show. “I think it’s a product of this machine that gets these kids to come play football for free — wait, for the wholesale cost of an education plus snacks — and wants them to stay and promotes this vague idea of the value of an education when you can finish your degree at any time.

“I just feel like this was the latest example of someone who was manipulated by those who have a vested interest in continuing to get kids to choose to come play and stay — once the NFL may be ready for them — playing football for free.”

Although Jones has just three collegiate starts, the redshirt sophomore was thought of as an intriguing NFL prospect due to his frame, arm strength and performance in the College Football Playoff. Fresh off leading Ohio State to a national title over Oregon on Monday, Jones teased his press conference a few hours in advance, dubbing it as a “life-changing decision.”

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This irked Florio.

“What reasonable person isn’t annoyed by this suggestion from Cardale Jones he’s making a life-changing decision and the decision is that he’s not changing his life in any way at all?” Florio said. “And then what got it for me Cardale Jones stands up and says ‘I don’t know why you guys made it a big deal’ — he made it a big deal and those around him made it a big deal.”

Does he have a valid point?

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