There are only nine Canadian born players currently in the NFL. Chiefs rookie linebacker Cory Greenwood made the cut this weekend and he told the Whig-Standard that he found out because of silence.
“You just don’t want to get a phone call,” said Greenwood.
“Once I realized that phone call was not coming, I was pretty happy … It’s really an incredible feeling.”
Greenwood spent Saturday afternoon at the Chiefs’ practice facility, lifting weights and sitting in the hot tub to kill time prior to the 5 p.m. cut deadline.
“I just thought of myself as an underdog,” Greenwood said after practice Monday.
“I knew the cards were stacked against me as an undrafted player. I just figured I had nothing to lose.”
The Chiefs contacted Greenwood and his agent, Johnathon Hardaway the week after the NFL draft in April, but he wasn’t signed until almost a month later — an eternity for rookie free agents.
In between the initial contact and the signing, the Toronto Argonauts selected Greenwood third overall in the Canadian Football League draft. On that day, Greenwood posed in an Argos hat for a newspaper photograph and expressed genuine excitement about joining the pro team closest to home.
The Chiefs, however, kick the tires on Greenwood. Finally, in May, they got him a flight out of Syracuse so he could test with the team.
He repeated the 4.5-second, 40-yard dash he recorded at the CFL evaluation camp — a great time for a linebacker — and, soon after, he completed a deal.
“Coach (Todd Haley) said ‘Don’t thank me. Practice hard and prove to me we made the right choice,’ ” Greenwood said. “That’s how it is throughout the season for guys 48, 49, 50, 51, 52 and 53 on the roster. They’re always looking to make the team better. You just can’t get comfortable.”
Considering the last big name “Canadian” import — he is from Texas after all — Casey Printers didn’t make it out of camp, Greenwood is already ahead of the game simply by making the 53-man roster.
I look forward to seeing some No. 94 “Canada” jerseys at Arrowhead this season. Chiefs fans really got behind Jovan Belcher — an undrafted free agent last year — and I don’t see any reason the same thing won’t happen with Greenwood if he can get on the field.