The story of a man who may retire from the NFL for a third straight year has caused us to forget to mention the story of a man of nearly the same age who isn’t ready to retire once.
Free-agent center Kevin Mawae, the NFLPA president who has suggested multiple times that his leadership role in the union could be keeping him from getting another job, says that Titans coach Jeff Fisher promised Mawae a spot of the team, but that Fisher has failed to follow through.
“Jeff told me in April he guaranteed me a roster spot,” Mawae recently told Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “Those were his
exact words, ‘I guarantee that you have a roster spot.’ He said that to
me twice. But apparently Jeff is not doing contracts. It would be great
if the two were on the same page instead of sending me mixed signals.”
Mawae, 39, has spent 16 seasons in the NFL, including the last four with the Titans.
“We have young players to evaluate and we are only in our second day
of training camp,” Fisher told Wyatt on Sunday. “We haven’t even put pads on yet. I’d like to think the
door is still open once the evaluation process is done or there’s an
I discussed this with Kevin there was no timetable. [G.M.] Mike [Reinfeldt] and I are on
the same page. He is excited about the roster and excited about
evaluating the younger players.”
Reinfeldt and Fisher likely aren’t excited by the fact that Mawae has gone public to bully them into giving him a job. Indeed, even if some teams were reluctant to sign Mawae due in part to the fact that he’s the president of the NFLPA at a time of labor unrest that hasn’t been seen in more than two decades, the fact that Mawae has been so willing to complain openly about his beliefs in this regard will do nothing to persuade teams to be willing to give him a chance.
The best bet? Quit talking to the media about it. Lay low. Stay in shape. And maybe the phone will ring — if the damage hasn’t already been done.