Former Chiefs defensive lineman T.J. Barnes ready for pro wrestling
By Matt Conner
Former Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman T.J. Barnes is ready to make a childhood dream come true by becoming a pro wrestler.
There are certain dreams a person can have that others cannot when you stand 6’7 and weigh 364 pounds. For T.J. Barnes, that list of dreams includes one that reaches all the way back to his childhood: becoming a professional wrestler.
Barnes will be familiar to those fans of the Kansas City Chiefs who pay the closest of attention. Barnes joined the team’s practice squad after being waived by the Jacksonville Jaguars (for the second time) in September of 2016. After two months on the practice squad, Barnes was promoted to the active roster for five games. He finished that season with a single tackle but lasted on the roster until the following June—right around the time John Dorsey left his post.
Barnes likely earned a look not only for his talents but also for his size. As they say, you simply cannot teach that and Barnes is a true mountain of a man. In fact, if he were on the current Chiefs roster, he would outweigh the biggest player on the Chiefs by 30 pounds—Dee Liner, defensive lineman, by the way. For the Chiefs, getting younger, leaner and quicker to the ball has been the name of the game, but for teams interested in anchoring their lines with big-bodied maulers, Barnes is a player worth checking out.
After sitting out of the NFL last season, he will try out for the Alliance of American Football soon, set to kick off in February, and also chase his dreams to wrestle on a professional level in the WWE. He recently spoke about his dreams in an interview with Jacksonville’s NBC affiliate:
"“…it was something I always wanted to do as a kid … I just didn’t know the avenues to really take to wrestling. Being a big kid, nobody wants you to do the Tombstone piledriver or the stunner on them, so I just took football and basketball and other sports to really do at the moment and the opportunity just presented itself.”"
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We want to wish Barnes all the best in his quest to suplex others in front of an arena full of fans. We once held the same dreams but alas, not all of us are such imposing figures.