For the Buccaneers, swapping a former second-rounder for a seventh-round pick can be nothing but disappointing.
But for Brian Price, getting to Chicago may represent the fresh start he needs after a tumultuous year.
In an excellent story by Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times, Price talks about wanting to pay the Bears back for their faith in him.
“I’m just real thankful for this opportunity. It’s a burning feeling,” he said. “They’re giving me a chance and showing me so much love.
The 23-year-old defensive tackle’s past (his brothers were murdered in gang-related violence) is recapped in Jensen’s story, but the last few months alone are enough to write a book about. Emotionally crippled by the loss of his sister in a hit-and-run accident in May, Price’s time in Tampa came to an end after a fight with a teammate, allowing the new coaching staff to make a bit of an example of him.
His father said there was a “lack of sensitivity and compassion” toward Brian after his sister’s death.
“I don’t want to bash the Bucs, but I feel [new coach Greg Schiano] came into a situation where they’re trying to have a new culture, and I feel Brian was a victim of circumstance,” Frank Price said.
Price will start practice with the Bears tomorrow, and when he does, the nephews he’s adopting will be there to see it. For now, paying the Bears back for their confidence is second only to making sure the boys don’t have to endure the long line of heartbreak he has.
“I just think about how they feel. I was their age when my brother got killed,” Brian Price said. “I fully understand. They got no mom, and their dad’s not in their life. I keep them busy and full of positive stuff. . . .
“[The boys are] my ambition. As long as they’re good, I’m good. As long as I save their lives and teach them how to be men and keep them off the streets. I want to raise them to be better than me. That’s my goal.”
If he can do that, and break the cycle of pain that’s gripped his family, that will transcend anything he does on a football field.