Devard Darling Delay
By KELSIE JOHNSON
NG Sports Reporter
three weeks into the National Football League pre-season, and Bahamian Devard Darling is yet to be picked up by any of the league' s 32 teams.
The NFL's pre-season started on August 12 and will run until September 2. The regular season will get underway on September 9.
Darling became a free agent at the end of the 2009/2010 season, and was released by the Kansas City Chiefs.
He spent two years with the Chiefs, one on the field and the other on the injured re-serve list.
In this Nassau Guardian exclusive, he revealed that he had expected to be back on the field by now, but knows that all the events surrounding his situation is just the nature of the sport of football.
"I didn't expect to be in this position right now, not being on a team," said Darling.
"I guess it is all a part of the business. This is my first time being in this position, not being on a team and not playing in pre-season right now.
"Right now I am available.
"You have a lot of teams looking at their young guys right now, seeing how they are going to do especially in this third pre-season game, which is the most important game in the pre-season.
"My chances are still good, my agent is out there working on it right now. He is going to get me a job.
"I had a workout with the Texans last week, but we are still waiting to see how it goes.
"There are still teams, like the Texans, and the Rams are still interested. Things are happening so I can go in an instance, that is what I am waiting on.
"I can't give you the answer right now(on being picked up by either one of the teams). I just don't know, I have no idea right now. This is just how the business is," he added.
Darling was the second Bahamian to be drafted to the NFL, as the Baltimore Ravens took him with the 82nd overall pick in the third round in 2004.
The Bahamian wide receiver spent four years with the Ravens. He has been in the NFL for six years but only played five.
During his time with the Ravens, Darling recorded 20 catches fot 331 yards and three touchdowns.
The one season with the Chiefs, he totalled 247 yards on 17 receptions in the 16 games played.
Even though he is still crossing his fingers, hoping to hear the phone ring from an interested team, Darling is not ruling out the United Football League(UFL).
He still sees playing in the newest American football league as an option.
"I won't say that I am worried but I would say that I am concerned and a little frustrated, but I know it is just a part of the business. This is the NFL,"said Darling.
"This is my first time experiencing it in this capacity, being a free agent, not being on a team at this time. I think that I have a little space for concern.
"The UFL is always an option. The Omaha team that drafted me is still in contact with me almost every day. I still have that option, but now I am an NFL player, an NFL receiver, so that is where I am going. I don't know (if I am not picked up if I will go over). We will have to see. I can't give you that answer right now."
Last year, Darling got injured in the third pre-season game. He admits that the torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury has affected his chances of remaining in the NFL, but stated that right now he is just focussed on getting back on a team.
The Chiefs were playing the New England Patriots during the time of the injury.
"I feel great. I am in great shape," said darling."I am at playing weight right now, so I am feeling really great. I am fast, quick, getting on my knees with no problems. It went really well when I went to work out with the Texans.
"Like I said it was just a workout. I ran a 40 for them, caught some balls and ran some routes for them. I feel as if it went pretty well.
"They were very impressed with me and the workout, but in this situation right now, it is just a numbers game. They want to see how the young guys do,"he added.
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