ASHBURN, Va. -- One day, Deshazor Everett is sharing his story, a tale from one of the happiest days of his life. He's a no-name player who might not do anything in his career or perhaps becomes a heck of a story in 10 years. He doesn't know; he just knows Saturday was fantastic, and he's thrilled to relay his story. About how he told his mom the news. About a tough journey over the past eight months from a football perspective to reach this point.
And then comes the cruel twist of fate for Everett, a reminder that the NFL is clearly about being on a high one day and in the dumps the next. On the roster Sunday; cut Monday. Not everyone is a star; not everyone sticks around for more than a few years. There are more Everetts in the NFL than those who make good livings for extended times. Players who simply want a taste of playing on a Sunday.
He understood reality, even before it bit him.
“I mean, any day you can go down with an injury, or they can bring in someone they feel can play just as well as you,” Everett said. “You never feel safe in the league. You see a lot of good players let go.”
The Redskins liked him enough to put him on the roster so it would make sense if they sign him to the practice squad once he clears waivers.
His story was a good one: Uninvited to the scouting combine out of Texas A&M; cut by Tampa Bay this summer and signed by Washington on Aug. 1 after camp had already begun. Everett opened eyes with his play on special teams, but he was not slated to be on any of the starting units vs. Miami in the season opener Sunday. That made him expendable, especially considering that corner Bashaud Breeland returns from suspension after the opener.
Life in the NFL means celebrating whenever you can. On Saturday, Everett had the opposite feeling he had on draft day: He did not want his phone to ring. It could only mean one thing: bad news. Players aren’t told they’ve made the roster. They just know when they show up for practice or a team meeting that they’re part of the 53.
But Everett’s mom called him, scaring her son when he heard the ring. You’ll like why Everett didn’t share the news with her right away after the meeting: Because his roommate at the hotel, Trey Williams (also his teammate at Texas A&M), was on the phone relaying the bad news he had received. Everett waited for a good moment to duck out and answer a call from his mom.
“I felt it would be rude to share my excitement when he was dealing with that,” Everett said. “When one makes it and one doesn’t, regardless if you’re best friends or not, it hurts like, ‘Dang he made it. I’ll be happy for him, but at the same time I could be in that position.’ “
Now, Everett is in that same position as Williams, though he’s already been signed to the Redskins’ practice squad. But one part of Everett’s story involves him not caving to obstacles. He faces another one.
“Growing up I was never given much,” he said. “I was always the smallest guy ... I had to work for everything.”
The work continues.