Of all the surprises to come out of the NFL draft weekend, what happened with New Hampshire tight end Scott Sicko was the most shocking. I don’t recall ever seeing a story like this one. With the draft capped at seven rounds, several talented football players go undrafted. Even though no team selects them in the draft, they’re able to sign with any team they choose as an undrafted free agent immediately following the draft (as long as there’s mutual interest). New Hampshire tight end Scott Sicko went undrafted but the Jaguars, Cowboys, and Jets all tried to sign him. Which team did he choose? None of them. Pro Football Talk shared this incredible story Saturday night via the Albany Times-Union:
Not getting drafted, [Sicko] decided, provided a new clarity, a different answer to the question of whether he wanted to get started on his life after football.
“If I were to be drafted I would have had more confidence of a much longer career in the NFL,” Sicko said. “I have to look at my life and decide what will make me the happiest. And the thing that will make me the happiest now and in the long run is to pursue my education.”
After getting his New Hampshire degree this May, Sicko plans to get a post-graduate degree or two in history, and become a history teacher or professor. And, yes, he knows he could have put off his education.
There you have it — Sicko told his agent to tell teams that called “thanks but no thanks” to their offers. He’s hanging up the cleats for grad school. Here’s the deal: if Sicko’s dream is to become a history teacher, then I can’t argue with him. But if he ever had dreams of playing in the NFL, just because he wasn’t drafted doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be able to live his dream. Antonio Gates is one of the best tight ends in the NFL and he went undrafted. Steelers linebacker and Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 was undrafted. Same with Kurt Warner, West Welker, London Fletcher, Herm Edwards, Priest Holmes, Tony Romo, and recently selected Hall of Famer John Randle. I’m not saying it would have been easy for Sicko to make it in the NFL but the reality is he wasn’t that far off as an undrafted free agent. I hope he doesn’t regret his choice.