BOSTON (CBS) — As with most players on the roster bubble, Bernard Reedy has another job during the offseason.
The 26-year-old has bounced around the NFL since going undrafted in 2014, spending much of his time on a practice squad. After he was released by the Buccaneers earlier this season, the Patriots signed the wide receiver/special teamer to their practice squad in late November. They added him to their active roster the following week, only to release Reedy a week later. It’s a cycle that played out again before he found a spot on the active roster on January 17, ahead of New England’s AFC Championship Game win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Now Reedy is preparing for Super Bowl LII with his New England teammates, one step away from the ultimate achievement in the NFL. But that doesn’t mean he’s going to quit his “day job,” one that is much more important than anything he does on the football field.
Once the season is over, Reedy will return to his home state of Florida and to a job that pays him $11 an hour. But that profession isn’t about the pay. At Care ride, a company that helps people with disabilities get around, it’s all about giving a helping hand to those in need.
“As soon as our offseason officially starts, I’ll be back at Care Ride when I’m able to,” Reedy told ESPN earlier this week. “The work don’t stop. Everybody still needs help.”
Reedy said the job has helped him keep his own struggle to make an NFL roster in perspective.
“It was tough to want to play and to want to be on somebody’s team and [I] just [didn’t] get the break yet, but I also thought, ‘What about the people on life support? What about the people who can’t walk that want to walk again?’ That stuff’s way more serious than running around and playing football,” he said.
When asked about his little-known player, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was very complimentary of Reedy.
“He’s a great kid,” said Belichick. “He’s been on and off our roster in a couple different roles — from practice squad to active roster, returning kicks, playing receiver and so forth. He’s a great kid, works hard, he tries to do everything we’ve asked.”
Belichick said that even though Reedy never knows if he’ll be on the active roster come game day, he remains professional and eager to learn.
“That’s just what comes with the NFL and what teams need for them,” Reedy said. “My job is to stay ready, be respectful, be coachable and be that positive person that I’ve always been. Like I will always be ready, even through the ups and downs, being released, getting put back on [the roster], I’m still going to be the same old person regardless of what might happen.”
And even if he becomes a Super Bowl champion on Sunday night, he’ll go back to being that “same old person” in Florida, helping those who need a ride get to where they have to go.