If you don’t keep in mind the title Bernard Williams, you’re to be forgiven. He performed only one season for the Philadelphia Eagles 29 years in the past earlier than his profession was derailed by a marijuana suspension. Although he has not performed for the reason that 1994 season, he was nonetheless technically a member of the Eagles roster. He was lastly launched this previous week.
For Williams’s half, he had no concept any of this was taking place.
Here is the background on what led to the strangest transaction of the 2023 NFL season.
The Eagles chosen Williams with the No. 14 general choose in 1994. He gave the impression to be on monitor to locking down their beginning left deal with place for years following a powerful rookie season. Nonetheless, a optimistic marijuana check earlier than the 1995 season resulted in him being suspended for the complete season. He failed a second check through the suspension and was by no means formally reinstated by the league.
He continued his professional football profession in varied different leagues — the CFL, XFL, Area League — however by no means once more made it again to the NFL. The Eagles, nevertheless, nonetheless maintained his rights by all of this. Technically, this left him as an official member of the roster till he was formally launched this previous week.
It was principally only one large glitch within the NFL’s system.
So what tipped everyone off?
Williams advised Andrew DiCecco of Insidethebirds.com that he thinks the Eagles lastly took discover when he lately utilized for some league advantages. He additionally had no concept of his roster standing or the actual fact he was formally launched.
“I used to be truly at work when a child I coached in highschool, Ventell Boulware — a scout for the Packers — known as requested when was the final time I did something with the NFL. I advised him I had simply utilized for some advantages lately, and he stated, ‘Effectively your title simply got here throughout the [transaction] wire.’ I am like, ‘For what?’ And he was like, ‘The Eagles launched you.’ I had some sort of concept, however they by no means launched me. And I all the time questioned what occurred with that. “After I went to Canada, the Eagles saved my rights by all of that. They by no means launched my rights. However I had no concept that I used to be nonetheless on the roster 29 years later.”
Williams began all 16 video games of his rookie season and performed extraordinarily effectively. He simply by no means actually had an opportunity to point out what kind of participant he may have been within the NFL due to the NFL’s outdated marijuana guidelines.