By Nick Shook
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Every once in a while, a player widely considered to be past his playing days by virtue of drawing little interest sends out an inspirational tweet or post about his future comeback. So no one blinked an eye when former top-10 pick Kellen Winslow Jr. tweeted about working toward a dream no one could see but him.
We had seen the dream realized, in the multiple seasons (2004-2013) the son of a Hall of Fame tight end spent as a member of the Browns, Buccaneers, Seahawks, Patriots and Jets. But no one saw the 33-year-old Winslow getting a shot in 2016, and that’s now closer to becoming a reality.
Winslow has been out of the league since the end of 2013, which he spent with the Jets. In his final season, Winslow caught 31 passes for 388 yards and two touchdowns. It was a far cry from his heyday with the Browns and Buccaneers, but after taking a couple years off to allow his body and mind to heal while also taking up cycling, Winslow has had his eye on a comeback for close to six months.
Winslow will not only have to convince teams he can still play, but also prove he’s matured enough to stay out of conflict with coaches, on and off the field. The same player who was once ridiculed for not having his toes on the line by former Bucs head coach Greg Schiano, and who wrecked while joyriding his motorcycle in the offseason in 2005 (missing the entire season) is aiming to show he’s ready for one last shot in the NFL. We’ll see if the soldier in him can cut it.