We've all heard the stories of the undrafted free agents like Colts middle linebacker Gary Brackett who rise through the adversity with the odds stacked against them to finally become a starter in the NFL through hard work and perseverance.
But for every Gary Brackett story, there are others that really make you feel for the player at a very human level.
Arizona State linebacker Dale Robinson is one of those stories. He's had one of the most bizarre four days that a player could have experienced. Based on my conversations with a number of sources close to the situation, this is what apparently happened to Robinson over the past few days.
After arriving at camp on Sunday afternoon, Robinson, wide receiver Gerran Walker and WR Jamie Goodwin were pulled out of the team meeting room and were told that they had been released. As the team signed draft picks, they had to clear some roster space, and the three of them were selected as the most expendable at that point.
All three packed up their gear and headed for the airport. After Robinson got home, he received a phone call from the Colts telling him that he should return to camp.
Although Robinson had been told he was released, the transaction was never put through the league office because another undrafted free agent, tight end Corey Roberts had to leave the team for personal reasons. The talented young tight end still plans on pursuing his NFL career, and the Colts got a roster exemption for him and retain his rights for the balance of this year.
But as a result of Roberts leaving, the Colts had an unexpected roster spot for Robinson. He hopped back on a plane to rejoin the team, but wasn't on the field with the Colts on Tuesday at camp.
Another unexpected event fell into place Tuesday evening that would have a profound effect on Robinson. Third-round selection Freddie Keiaho completed his deal Tuesday evening and headed to camp. The Colts wanted him on the field Wednesday morning, but needed a roster spot for him.
This time, Dale Robinson not only got the news verbally that he was released, but the transaction was official. It was time to head back home until the next NFL team asked him to pack his bags and head to their camp.
With the release of Robinson, and Roberts having a roster exemption with Indianapolis, the Colts are now down to the maximum of 80 active players allowed during the offseason by the NFL. They also have six players with NFL-Europe related exemptions.