Tight end Weslye Saunders has been out of the NFL since 2013, but he’s going door-to-door in an attempt to get back into the league. His drive is certainly admirable, but also a little weird. On Friday, Saunders showed up unannounced outside the Seahawks facility hoping coach Pete Carroll would want to see him work out and run some routes.
As you can imagine, the events unfolded differently than Saunders had hoped. Here’s what he told Seahawks Wire’s Liz Mathews about his visit:
“I brought my cleats to the facility today just in case coach Carroll wanted to tell me to get on the field and run some routes,” Saunders told me Friday on the phone. “I could show him I’m just as good as Jimmy [Graham] and any of those guys. That’s pretty much what I wanted to show.
“Of course, I failed miserably at the gate on the front end of things, but exposure and obviously shining a little light on what I’m trying to do here is never a bad thing.”
When Saunders says he “failed miserably at the gate,” he means he received a trespassing warning, as he explained in this video:
— Weslye Saunders (@Wes_Saunders88) June 9, 2017
“Well guys, sometimes it don’t work out like you want it to. They just gave me a trespassing warning here at the Seahawks facility. They told me if I show up here within the next 365 days, they’ll arrest me. So time to get on out of here.”
You can imagine how tough it is for Saunders to keep pursuing his dream when nobody seems to want him. Bucs general manager Jason Licht even called Saunders a “psycho” after he made a similar, unannounced visit to Tampa Bay. From Seahawks Wire:
“He let me know quite frankly, he wasn’t interested,” Saunders said. “If my being hungry for football is psychotic, then yes, I’m as psycho as they come.”
With his track record, you can’t really blame the NFL franchises for saying no to Saunders. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Steelers in 2011 but got cut following a suspension for unauthorized use of Adderall. He spent the next two seasons with the Colts but once again got released following a suspension, this time for performance-enhancing drugs. In 33 career games, he caught 10 receptions for 90 yards and one touchdown.
Saunders told Seahawks Wire that he wants to show teams he’s matured since then, and that’s why he’s showing up uninvited to all these facilities — to show execs what he’s like in person:
“Unfortunately people can sometimes pull up stuff on the Internet and assume they know you, so I kind of got the idea over the last couple of years that teams need to actively see me. That I’m a new person, that I’m pretty much mature physically and mentally.”
Saunders wholeheartedly believes his persistence will pay off.
“I really just wanted to let my play do the talking, but obviously I have to get someone’s attention for that to happen,” Saunders explained. “As one of my favorite poets Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, ‘If you knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you’ll be sure to awaken someone.’”
Seems to me like everyone is still sleeping.