Tonight at midnight, NFL free agency begins. At that moment, Ryan is officially unemployed and no longer a Buffalo Bill. Wow. It hit me yesterday as I was filling out some insurance forms. When filling out Ryan's employment information, I had to stop. I crossed out the address I'm so used to using - One Bills Drive - and wrote "unemployed." That one word sent a shudder down my spine - it signifies all sorts of uncertainty and many unknowns. What we are sure of is that we won't be back in Buffalo. We are now at the will of 31 NFL teams hoping that someone, anyone, will be interested in a healthy, 32-year-old tight end/fullback/long snapper/special teams ace. You see, 32 is considered "old" in the NFL. There are teams out there that won't even look at free agents who've passed the ripe old age of 30. So even though Ryan is healthy and ready to go, it's hard to say whether or not anyone will be interested in him and willing to give him a shot.
It could be months before we hear from anyone - teams will spend the next couple of weeks going after the highly sought after free agents - the ones that make the big bucks. Those guys will get phone calls tonight when the clock strikes 12. NFL teams will fly them out for visits and court them. We're pretty certain we won't be getting one of those phone calls.
The key for us now is patience, perseverance, a little hope and some faith that everything is going to work out according to God's plan. We're hoping Ryan gets picked up - he's definitely not ready to retire. So we'll just keep our fingers crossed and hope to hear something sooner rather than later. I'll be sure to keep you posted.