ST. PAUL — Jeff Badet has a proposal for Vikings teammate Trae Waynes if the two meet in the finals of the lucrative 40 Yards of Gold.
On Saturday, June 29, in Sunrise, Fla., 16 players will race to determine the NFL’s fastest player. Badet, a wide receiver, and Waynes, a cornerback, are on opposite sides of the bracket, so they could face off at the end with the $1.1 million prize on the line.
“I told him, ‘If we end up meeting up in the final, you already have enough money, so let me win,’” Badet said.
Badet, who spent his rookie year in 2018 on the practice squad, is on the books to make a base salary of $495,000 in 2018. Waynes will earn $9.069 million.
The mild-mannered Waynes shrugged when told Badet brought up the possibility of the two going head to head in the finals.
“We could,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”
Two other competitors have local connections and have spent time with the Vikings. Cornerback Jalen Myrick, currently a free agent, played at the University of Minnesota; he was on the Vikings practice squad last season before being waived in April. Cornerback Terrell Sinkfield, also a free agent, played at Hopkins High School and was in the Vikings’ training camp in 2016 and 2017.
The field includes a mix of players, some well established and some who have never played in an NFL regular-season game. Each race will feature two players in a single-elimination format; a player will have to win four consecutive races to claim the big prize.
The biggest names in the event are Ted Ginn, Alvin Kamara, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Marquise Goodwin and Robby Anderson. Plus, there’s Donte Jackson and Richie James, who showed promise last season as rookies.
In addition to Badet and Sinkfield, entrants who have not played in a regular-season game are Kevin Snead and John Franklin III. Along with Myrick and Sinkfield, those currently not on a roster are Snead, Charles James II, Jacoby Ford and Rashard Robinson.
Being a good football player is nice, but by far the most important requirement is speed.
“The reason I’m in it is I ran the fastest time at the combine in Big Ten history,” Myrick said. “I’m pretty fast. Me personally, I feel my chances (to win) are pretty good.”
Myrick, who played in five games as a Jacksonville rookie in 2017, ran 40 yards in 4.28 seconds at the scouting combine that year in Indianapolis.
Then again, Badet ran an unofficial time of 4.24 and then 4.27 at Oklahoma pro day in 2018. So you know he feels pretty good about winning, too.
“It’s a great opportunity,” said Badet, whose first race is against James, a wide receiver for the 49ers. “It’s a good way to get my name out before I’m actually out on the football field (on an active roster). My chances are pretty high.”
Badet knows, though, he could face a challenge against Waynes, who clocked a 4.31 at the 2015 NFL combine.
“Trae Waynes is a competitor, so, of course, he’s going to say he’s going to win,” Badet said.
Well, perhaps he said that to Badet. But Waynes, whose first race is against Jackson, a Carolina Panthers cornerback, offered no predictions in an interview.
“That’s not my main priority,” he said. “Football is, so I’m going to worry about that.”
Sinkfield is the mystery man in the field. He was not invited to the combine when he came out of Northern Iowa in 2013 but ran an unofficial time that year of 4.19 at the University of Minnesota’s pro day. That’s .03 of a second better than the fastest 40 in combine history, set by John Ross in 2018.
Some discredit Sinkfield’s effort since it was hand timed, and his two other attempts that day were timed at 4.27 and 4.41 (when he stumbled). Nevertheless, Sinkfield is intriguing enough to earn a spot despite his pro experience coming most in the Canadian Football League.
The event is being held at the BB&T Center, where the NHL’s Florida Panthers play, and will be hosted by former NFL star receiver Chad Johnson. It will be available on pay per view for $39.95.
“It’s a real cool event,” Myrick said. “Any time you put that much money on the line, it’s going to get my undivided attention.”