Szczur stays with Cubs, passes on chance at NFL

Matt Szczur, a two-sport star at Villanova, accepted a $1.5 million bonus to stay with the Chicago Cubs organization.
Matt Szczur, a two-sport star at Villanova, accepted a $1.5 million bonus to stay with the Chicago Cubs organization.
Posted: January 19, 2011

In the end, the money was too good to pass up for Villanova's two-sport standout, Matt Szczur.

On Tuesday, Szczur accepted a $1.5 million bonus to remain with the Chicago Cubs organization and walk away from a possible professional football career, according to multiple sources.

The 5-foot-10, 200-pound wide receiver, who was in Florida training for the Senior Bowl, could not be reached for comment Tuesday night. His father, Marc, confirmed the deal in an interview with the Press of Atlantic City.

Selected in the fifth round of June's Major League Baseball draft by the Cubs, the former all-Big East outfielder received a $100,000 signing bonus and played minor-league ball last season. The senior was expected to receive an additional $500,000 for committing completely to the Cubs before February's NFL scouting combine.

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the Cubs raised their offer to $1.5 million on Tuesday while visiting Szczur in Florida.

Szczur batted .347 with 10 doubles, two stolen bases and a triple last season in 25 minor-league games combined in the Arizona Rookie League and with the single-A Boise Hawks and Peoria Chiefs.

In July, NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said Szczur could be selected as high as the fourth round of the 2011 NFL draft.

"Obviously, if I get drafted for football, I will pursue that," Szczur said at the time. "If you get drafted in the top five rounds, you are going to secure a spot if you outperform your expectations in camp."

With that in mind, the 21-year-old from Erma, Cape May County, returned to Villanova for a final season, hoping to impress NFL scouts.

His production was limited by a high ankle sprain that sidelined him for most of the regular season.


Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at 610-313-8029 or kpompey@phillynews.com.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|