Lamar Jackson has a decision to make: When?

When does he confirm that he’s finished playing football at the University of Louisville? When does he break that bad news to his coaches, his teammates, his fans and his prospective employers in the National Football League?

He should soon acknowledge what is widely assumed: that the theoretical benefits of another season as an unsalaried apprentice pale in comparison to bona-fide millions in the bank; that the injury risks assumed by a running quarterback far exceed the potential rewards available through delayed gratification; and that the flaws in his game may be more easily fixed in a full-time professional setting than as a student engaged in an extracurricular activity.

By throwing four interceptions in U of L’s 31-27 TaxSlayer Bowl loss to Mississippi State Saturday, and then declining to make a definitive statement about his plans, Jackson fostered the faint hope that he might choose to stay in school for his senior year and renew his furious assault on the record books.

Yet to watch him leave the field in a jersey streaked with grass stains, having suffered six sacks and having narrowly eluded several more, was to think it's time he was paid for his trouble. Having thrown for 3,660 yards and run for 1,601, Jackson finished the season averaging 404 yards of total offense and having bettered the brilliant numbers that won him the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore.

If his last performance was subpar – three of the four interceptions were ill-advised and/or off-target, the other one was deflected – Jackson’s season-long efforts were an encore performance worthy of Sinatra at the Sands.