Anthony Hargrove signed with the Cowboys for the veteran minimum.
If not for his involvement in the Saints bounty investigation, and his subsequent suspension, he thinks that might not have been the case.
Hargrove said he’s trying to move forward, but said the stigma that followed his suspension (which was eventually reduced to two games) “took my earning power away.” He didn’t play last year after being cut in the preseason by the Packers.
“Sitting out for a year, you don’t know where life is heading,” Hargrove said, via Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I understand how this game works, and when you don’t have a year of film, people are less inclined to bring you in, because they don’t have enough film to evaluate you on.
“It put me at a disadvantage, but you know God is good and it always works out.”
Hargrove has been a serviceable part on a number of defensive lines during his career, but at 30, he knows this is likely his last chance. The Cowboys think his versatility will help as they change to a 4-3 defense, and they weren’t scared off by his past.
“You guys have got to make up your minds on really what took place there,” Hargrove said of the suspension. “I had to live with it. I had to deal with it. It’s a new day in my life. It’s 2013. I’m trying to continue my career and finish up in a strong way.”
He didn’t address his involvement in the concussion lawsuit against the league, saying: “Can’t comment on that. It is what it is. I’m here to play ball, and I’m going to try to do my best and not let anything outside of that hinder me getting on this field and playing.”
While he was out of the league for a year, Hargrove said he worked at a home for mentally challenged adults in Virginia.
“It puts life into perspective,” Hargrove said. “It’s easy to feel bad for yourself because so much stuff happens to you. But when you’re able to sit down with someone who’s much less fortunate than you are, life definitely comes in place. You understand, ‘Hey, my life isn’t that bad.’”
While some of Hargrove’s trouble has been self-inflicted (his 2008 substance abuse suspension), teams have been willing to give him a chance before. The Cowboys are his seventh, and he hopes he can last the year to try to change people’s perception of him.