Former Chiefs and Patriots offensive tackle Ryan O’Callaghan has come out as gay, as Cyd Ziegler of OutSports.com writes. O’Callaghan, a former fifth-round pick who played in the NFL from 2006-11, describes a deeply dark period in his life during which he used painkillers extensively in order to cope with injuries and his mixed feelings regarding his own sexuality. Sadly, O’Callaghan admits he was on the verge of committing suicide before meeting with a clinical psychologist linked to the Chiefs. Slowly, O’Callaghan began coming out to family and friends — including former Chiefs GM Scott Pioli and college teammate Aaron Rodgers — and is now working with an LGBT organization in his native Redding, California. O’Callaghan’s story is one of courage and inspiration, and Ziegler’s article is well worth a full read.
Here’s more from the NFL’s two South divisions:
- As Tom Pelissero of USA Today reported yesterday, Eric Decker‘s one-year contract with the Titans can be worth as much as $5.35MM, and today Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk details exactly how Decker can reach that figure. In addition to his $2.5MM signing bonus and $1.35MM base salary, Decker can earn another $150K in gameday active roster bonuses. Additionally, Decker can get $250K if he scores four touchdowns, per Florio. He’ll receive $125K for every 10 catches starting at 30 and maxing out at 70 (netting him as much as $625K), and can earn another $125K for every 100 yards receiving starting at 450 and maxing out at 850 (potential total: $625K).
- If recent history is any guide, cornerback Marcus Peters shouldn’t expect an extension from the Chiefs when he becomes a free agent in 2020, opines Adam Teicher of ESPN.com. Kansas City has liberally used the franchise tag on its elite defenders, including edge rusher Justin Houston and safety Eric Berry in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Of course, both of those players eventually garnered long-term deals, and are each among the top-three at their position in annual salary. Still, the Chiefs are likely to exercise Peters’ fifth-year option for 2019, then use the franchise tag in 2020 before extending him.
- A one-year deal is seemingly never a bad investment, but some single season pacts are more valuable than others, leading Field Yates of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required) to examine the best one-year contracts handed out this offseason. Decker is the most recent signee to make the list, as he’s expected to act as a veteran presence on a young Titans receiving corps. Other featured players from the NFL’s South divisions include Falcons defensive tackle Dontari Poe ($10MM), Chiefs defensive tackle Bennie Logan ($8MM), and Colts wide receiver Kamar Aiken ($5MM).