Bookies always try to avoid the deep legal topics that come with sports and stick with the odds on an NFL team winning a game. But there is a category of player that most sportsbook experts take a passing interest in, especially when a player from that category makes an impact on a championship team. There are plenty of stories of long-shot late-round draft picks that go on to become NFL superstars. Tom Brady was not a first-round draft pick by any stretch of the imagination, but he became a superstar.
Perhaps the longest shot of them all in the world of NFL sports is the undrafted free agent. These are the most frustrated and determined players that will ever put on an NFL practice jersey. They frequently do not make the teams they are trying out for, but there can be that one story that shocks the NFL and makes his mark on the world.
Most people who use sportsbook software have heard of wide receiver Wes Welker, offensive lineman Jason Peters and tight end Antonio Gates. They are all players that will leave their marks on the game and Welker will leave his mark as champion. But they are also all undrafted free agents, and the story behind undrafted free agents is as challenging as it sounds.
An undrafted free agent is a player who does not get picked in the NFL draft and then winds up in a team’s training camp. Some undrafted players get invitations from teams to come to training camp, but most of them walk on to a camp on their own. They have a pedigree from college football, but it was not enough to get them drafted.
Hundreds of players are chosen in the NFL draft each year, so to be an undrafted free agent can be frustrating. But many players use that as motivation to go out and become the best possible players that they can become. Wes Welker is recognized as one of the top wide receivers in the NFL and some contend that Antonio Gates could be looking at a hall of fame career.
Most undrafted free agents are gone from a team within a week of walking on to camp. The ones that make it through to the preseason have a huge uphill battle to climb to make the roster. The undrafted free agents who make the final roster always have that tag of “underdog” attached to them. It is something they never shake, no matter how successful they become.
An undrafted free agent feels like he is already behind the 8-ball on a team, and he is probably right. He works harder than any other player because he has to. When an undrafted free agent gets his hands on a Super Bowl trophy, it is the kind of feel-good story that Hollywood loves to tell.