Could you gain 5 yards in the NFL for $10 million?

I regret to inform you that once again people are arguing whether or not they could gain yards in an NFL game. This argument has taken many forms over the years, adjusting the distance needed or monetary prize — then the internet argues why they think they could actually step foot on a professional football field without dying.

The latest version comes from former NFL defensive end Marcellus Wiley.

We have a pretty diverse group of individuals here at SB Nation. Some played football in the past, others attempted different sports — while some of us love sports and hate our genetics which prevented us from excelling. Still, we have some feelings about whether we could gain five yards in an NFL game on 10 attempts.

James Dator

I’m convinced that anyone who thinks they could gain five yards in an NFL game has never seen a professional football player up close in real life.

I played rugby in high school. I wasn’t very good, don’t get it twisted, but I was really strong for my age — strong enough that I received some interest in putting me in the youth program of a pro team to potentially bulk up and play first row. It wasn’t for me, but that’s not really the point.

Fast forward 20 years and I’m in the lobby of an Atlanta hotel as part of Super Bowl media week and I see an absolute MOUNTAIN of a man in a Rams’ sweatshirt. He’s tall, bursting with muscle, and ripped to all hell. Dude turns around and it’s Johnny Hekker … yes, THE PUNTER!

If you spend a second around an NFL running back they are super heroes come to life. Everyone on an NFL team is, but especially running backs because they have the height of most people walking around, but all look like they’ve taken Steve Rodgers’ super soldier serum.

I’m a big believer in having confidence in your ability, but this is hubris. I don’t care what offensive line you have. I don’t care how good you were in high school. You would get hit on first down and collapse in a heap coughing like you’re suffering from tuberculosis before tapping out.

Take the $1M now and be happy you didn’t subject yourself to being hit in an NFL game.

JP Acosta

There’s a below-zero chance any average person actually gets five yards behind an NFL offensive line. I think people tend to underrate how fast lanes and gaps close at the NFL level. The combine makes a 4.6 and above 40-yard dash seem slow, but to the average person that makes your average NFL LB Tyreek Hill. Even if you try and tush push with the Eagles OL in this hypothetical scenario, people forget that the tush push works because Jalen Hurts squats 8 billion pounds and lifts with the linemen. Give me my million and let me live my life in peace.

Jared Mueller

Can I wear a full metal knight’s suit?


Brian Branch-Price for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Then, give me the Eagles offense to tush push my metal behind 10 times and I’m pretty confident that I would get 5 yards but never be able actually to enjoy the $10 million that much. I would hire the best barbecue artists to feed me ribs as often as possible.

Mark Schofield

During the 1997 Wesleyan University football season, my best year on campus, these were my rushing statistics:

That’s eight games, 10 rushing attempts for a total of 39 yards, 14 yards lost, for a net of 25 yards. 2.5 yards per attempt, one touchdown, a longest run of 16 yards, and an average of 3.1 yards per game.

(Please do not scroll up on that link to see my passing statistics, I beg of you).


If I could only manage that at the Division 3 level, how in the world would I do better in the NFL?

Give me the million and let me live.

Bernd Buchmasser

A few years ago I attempted a 40-yard dash as part of the Run Rich Run charity. This is what it looked like:

I’ll take the $1 million, thank you very much.

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