Sep 7, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; A general view of the tunnel onto the field before the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans at Arrowhead Stadium. The Titans won 26-10. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Despite a number of promising meetings with NFL coaches and former players like Gunther Cunningham, Chris Hovan, and Derrick Brooks, Tyler never caught on elsewhere. A number of teams were interested in him, namely the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions, but he couldn’t quite consummate a deal for one reason or another. He spent a year away from the NFL in 2012 and never returned. His last hurrah was with the Tampa Bay Storm in the Arena Football League where he recorded five sacks and 15 tackles in 2013.
At this stage of his life, Tyler’s finished with professional football. He’s no longer actively pursuing a contract. These days, he’s focused on making music, the work of his foundation, and re-telling the story of his NFL and NCAA journeys in a self-produced documentary. Tyler wants to write his own history and clear up any misconceptions about the last 10 years of his life.
The conversation I had with Tyler really humanized the NFL athlete for me. I’m not sure exactly where I land on Tyler’s claims, but there are certainly grains of truth to them. I expected a more excitable personality given our pre-interview talks, but I was overwhelmed by how even-keeled Tyler appeared to be throughout. That suggests to me that while he could be falsely attributing the demise of his career to a Todd Haley vendetta, it’s at least something he sincerely believes to be true.
There were no signs of bitterness and he appears to have made peace with that aspect of his life. Time will tell if he can dominate life after the NFL the same way he did on the gridiron.
Until next time, Addicts!