Earlier today I mused on the impossible task that is making an NFL roster. Like clockwork another brutal lesson in adjusting to life in the NFL was learned.
When the Oakland Raiders signed Cal State Fullerton hoopster turned tight end Andre Hardy just over a month ago the best case scenario was that they unearthed the next Antonio Gates. If that is going to happen it won’t be in silver and black for Hardy.
Today the Raiders parted ways with Hardy, waiving the former baller along with quarterback Rhett Bomar. Hardy is reported to have been dealing with an injury that prevented him from fully participating in the team’s rookie mini-camp over the weekend.
Hardy’s odds of making the practice squad, let alone the 53-man, were long to say the least. But his fate was all but sealed once the Raiders announced the signings of seven players that participated in their rookie camp. Among those seven is Kyle Efaw, a tight end from Boise State. That would have made five tight ends on the Raider roster if you count Hardy.
Clearly the Raiders would rather focus their efforts on a project player like David Ausberry has played football has entire life and is just learning a new position. On the other hand Hardy is trying to learn the entire game, not just the position, at the highest level. Hardy’s quick departure is not only a reminder of how difficult it is to make an NFL roster but also shows how truly unique a talent Gates is. Turning hoopsters into tight ends might be a trend but that doesn’t make it easy.