The National Football League is getting serious (in theory, at least) about its players and violence off the field. So much so that those with a history of violence before they enter the league aren’t going to be allowed at the NFL Combine this year.
One such player is former Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly, who apparently was invited and then dis-invited by the league due to a 2014 arrest for assault in Buffalo that resulted in a plea deal and 50 hours of community service.
Now it appears as if Kelly is going to show up in Indianapolis after all. A Pro Football Talk report notes that Kelly’s agent has indicated there is the strong possibility that Kelly and his entourage will show up for the Combine despite the lack of an invite.
Agent Duray Oubre told PFT via email that, while Kelly is focused on preparing for his April 2 Pro Day workout, “we are still considering the possibility of traveling to the Combine along with Chad.”
However, those reports also forget the more recent and more disturbing issue with Kelly. Let’s also remember that his return to high school as the “hometown hero” ended with him rushing the field to get in to the middle of an all-out brawl.
Of course, Kelly was just coming to the aide of his younger brother.
FULL VIDEO: Here is the play that started the fight at Timon. Chad Kelly then goes onto field after hit on brother Casey. Game called. pic.twitter.com/2ImgM7lGZI
— Tom Martin (@4TomMartin) October 8, 2016
Given the NFL’s bad press for violence from its players, it is no wonder they want to take those players out of the equation at the combine.
However, the Combine has become more than just the measurements and physical tests that we all see. The hard work is done behind the scenes, and that is where Kelly and other players who were dis-invited from the event may want to show up after all.
If they can be in the same city and have the same treatment in terms of interviews and digging in to their pasts with everyone else, they may actually help themselves come draft day. Those teams who do their homework at the Combine and are satisfied with the player and his responses to questions can then take care of the physical questions at the various Pro Days being done at college’s across the country.
Kelly will get a chance to throw the football and do all the drills on April 2, so if he shows up at the combine, look for him to try and get a seat with various NFL teams outside of the combine itself.
Just don’t expect the NFL to relent on its dis-invitation to players like Kelly and Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon.