EUGENE, Ore. — NFL wide receiver Marquise Goodwin came up short Friday in his quest to qualify for another Olympic team, failing to reach the long-jump final at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Oregon.
Goodwin, 30, finished 19th in the field of 24 with a best jump of 24 feet, 10 inches. Only 12 jumpers qualified for Sunday's final, where the top three finishers will qualify for the Tokyo Olympics provided they have met the Olympic standard.
Goodwin, who signed with the Chicago Bears in April, wore team gear as he competed Friday and donned a Bears T-shirt as he left the track.
While Goodwin now makes his living in the NFL, he was an Olympic long jumper first. He finished 10th in the long jump for the United States at the 2012 London Olympics, a year before he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the third round.
Goodwin told The Chicago Tribune earlier this month that the Bears' coaching staff had been supportive of his Olympic pursuit, and head coach Matt Nagy said he'd been impressed by the newly signed wide receiver's conditioning so far this offseason.
"Anytime you have an Olympic mentality, you are different," Nagy said, according to The Chicago Tribune. "That’s a minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour regime that you are keeping your body in shape. … For him, that’s never going to change."
Chicago Bears wide receiver Marquise Goodwin stretches during practice in Lake Forest on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Photo: Nam Y. Huh, AP)
Goodwin opted out of the 2020 season, when he was with the Philadelphia Eagles, due to COVID-19. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound receiver has started 40 games over the course of his seven years in the league, including 16 games with the San Francisco 49ers in 2017, when he caught 56 passes for 962 yards and two touchdowns.
Like many NFL players, Goodwin was a multi-sport athlete in high school. But unlike many of the others, track and field might have actually been his better sport.
Goodwin won seven Texas 5A state titles and two world junior championships in high school before enrolling at Texas, where he was a two-time NCAA champ. Then, in the summer between his junior and senior seasons in college, he won the U.S. Olympic trials to qualify for a spot at the London Games.
After finishing 10th in 2012, Goodwin returned to the trials in 2016 with hopes of winning another spot, but he failed to qualify. In 2017, he was suspended for one year by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for failing to provide his whereabouts for drug testing; Goodwin said he did not provide the information because he was done competing in track and field.
In recent years, however, the itch returned for Goodwin. He said in 2019 that he had started thinking about pursuing another Olympic bid, noting that training for the long jump actually helped prepare him for the NFL.
"I use it as part of my training," he said, according to NBC. "What I do in long jump, in track and field, definitely correlates with what I do as a wide receiver with being fast, being explosive, putting my foot down. It’s the same mechanics that I use in football."
A trip to the Tokyo Olympics would have interfered with Bears training camp. Players are scheduled to report on July 27, and the first round of long jump begins July 31.
Contact Tom Schad at [email protected] or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.
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