If you read my last post concerning Chris Harris and I's ironic rides with team transactions, you know how we've - pretty much - been side by side throughout every move we've experienced as pro football players. Well, in this post I wanna give you the blow-by-blow on how our most recent team transition went down.
So Chris Harris was traded back to the Bears before I was traded to the Rams, right. Well, because Chris and I both have the same agent (Albert Elias), we were told - before anyone else - how I was probably gonna be switching teams now that Harris was back in Chicago. Seriously, him and I really were the only Bears who knew what was inevitably going to happen to me.
As soon as Chris was dealt to the Bears, Albert Elias - who truly is one of the best NFL agents in the game (Wut up, Albert! ;-) - was on the phone with other teams seeing which teams were interested in having me. After apparently receiving a lot of interest from a lot of different teams, I guess he got in touch with the Rams, who - as I'm sure you can now assume - came at me with some great opportunities.
After Albert and the Rams did what they do best (negotiate win/win scenarios for the people they represent), he called me to ask how I felt about playing in St. Louis. I told him how "I'd be more than excited to have the opportunity to play for the Rams." He then took my word and went to work making it happen.
So the next day I went back to work with the Bears, and the trade hadn't gone through yet. And let me tell you... It was awkward being there knowing what was about to go down. I wasn't even sure if the coaches had been told by management that I was about to be traded. So I just continued doing my thing (lifting weights, running outside, etc.), knowing all the while that I wasn't going to be a Bear for much longer.
As soon as I got off the practice field I had a text message from Albert telling me to call him right away. I dialed him up, asked him what was going on, and he told me that the deal was -- like -- 95% complete, but it still wasn't totally a done-deal yet. I told him "cool" and continued my waiting game.
On this same day, Chris had gotten into town after having been traded by the Carolina Panthers - he was there to get a physical so his transaction could officially become complete. While he was there at the Bears' facilities, everyone was high-five'en Chris, because they were happy to have him back with the team. Even I was congratulating him and welcoming him back, as if nothing out of the ordinary was going down on my side of the ball (Haha!). (Of course, I would have treated him the same way, no matter the circumstances, because - you know - he's a good friend of mine. I was legitimately happy for him, because I knew he was happy to be back in the city.) That entire congratulatory-moment was just straight-up funny, because Chris and I both knew what was going on behind the scenes.
After practice, Chris, a couple other players from the Chicago Bears, and myself all went bowling (I can't wait to tell you the results of those games ;-) We must have played for about 2-3 hours before deciding it was time to head on out. And just as we were leaving the alley, Albert called to tell me it was official. I was a St. Louis Ram!
Right away I began calling everyone in my family to let them know the exciting news. I told my mother and father about everything, and they just went crazy, because they were like...
"Oooooh! Now you'll be closer to home, and we'll actually be able to drive to your games!"
Seriously, that really is one of the better parts of this move I'm making. When I was with the Bears, my family couldn't make it to many of my games, because the trip to the stadium was about fourteen hours long. Now that I'm with the Rams, they'll still have to go a long way to get to St. Louis, but it takes half as long to make the trip, as it's about a eight hour drive.
After I found out I was going to St. Louis, I went back up to the Chicago Bears facility to talk with Coach Lovie Smith and our general manager, Jerry Angelo. I just wanted to pay my respects, because they had changed my life forever by helping me make my dreams come true.
After thanking Coach Smith and Mr. Angelo for everything they have done for me, I got on the phone to talk with everyone in the St. Louis Rams' organization. I wanted to let them know how happy and excited I was to be a part of their team, and that I was ready to show-up for work (I can't tell you enough how anxious I am).
And that's - pretty much - how everything went down that day. I guess I really did enjoy the entire process, because I knew what was going on the entire time it was happening. However - on the flip-side - it probably would have been a real shock had I gotten a call out of the blue saying that I had been traded. ...You know what I'm sayin'? Thankfully it didn't happen like that, because -- I don't know -- being told, unexpectedly, that you gotta setup shop somewhere else doesn't seem like it would be as pleasurable of an experience as having a a good heads-up about things, like I did this time around.
Now I'm just happy to be a St. Louis Ram. I'm ready to get to work; I'm ready to hit the city; I'm just ready to enjoy St. Louis and the fans. I think we're all gonna have a lot of fun together...