If the San Diego Chargers came to terms with Ryan Leaf's nephew, or the Seattle Mariners gave a shot to a relative of former general manager Bill Bavasi, those stories wouldn't be any weirder than this. Among the undrafted free agents invited to rookie minicamp by the Detroit Lions was quarterback John Laub of Richmond, whose cousin, according to his official Richmond bio is ...wait for it ... Matt Millen. That camp starts next week.
Of course, Millen is the former star NFL linebacker, current football "broadcaster" (we use that term very loosely in this case) and ex-Lions GM, whose eight-year stewardship of the franchise was one of the most disastrous in the history of sports. Under Millen, the Lions amassed a 31-84 record, repeatedly turned draft days into disasters, and Millen was fired after the 2008 Lions became the first NFL team to lose all 16 games in a season.
None of this is Laub's fault, of course, but we wouldn't be surprised if he heard some residual boos out of the whole thing, now that the word is out. The Colonial Athletic Association All-Academic team member and team captain completed 143 passes in 237 attempts for 1,722 yards and nine touchdowns for the Spiders, adding 391 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the ground before his season was shortened by an ankle injury.
The 6-foot-1, 208-pound quarterback wasn't invited to the scouting combine, but he ran a 4.7 40 at his pro day, which probably would have Millen signing him to a 10-year, $180 million, no-cut contract with partial team ownership thrown in.
"All you can ask for is a three-day rookie minicamp where I can showcase my skill set and try to impress them," Laub told the Lehigh Valley Morning Call on Tuesday. "I got that opportunity and now I just want to run with it and try to make it happen."
Just stay out of the front office, my friend. Your kin have done quite enough damage up there.