Clowney and the sunk cost fallacy

Is Jadeveon Clowney a bust? Although the lackadaisical and injury-prone Clowney was the overall #1 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, he has played in just four regular season games this year, with seven tackles and zero sacks. He’s now on injured reserve and won’t play any more games this season. Yet Mr Clowney still has his defenders. Tania Ganguli, for example, writes that it is “unfair” and “inaccurate” to call a player a bust for going on injured reserve. Isn’t this line of reasoning, however, an example of the sunk cost fallacy? The Houston Texans not only squandered their first-round draft pick; they also gave Mr Clowney a fully-guaranteed $22.2 million contract, including an up-front $14.5 million signing bonus. But all this is in the past and does not change the fact that Clowney had a terrible rookie season and is unlikely to live up to his hype.

The Texans should have taken heed of this sign.

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