Sometimes, when you don't get the things you want, something better comes along. That's what former Temple running back Matt Brown found out when he recently prepared to travel to Saskatchewan and sign with the Roughriders of the Canadian Football League. Brown, the 2012 Big East special teams player of the year, was most likely undrafted because of his size -- it's hard to know what to do with a 5-foot-5, 169-pound running back in the NFL -- but the CFL came calling. Problem was, Brown couldn't make his flight from Baltimore because his passport had expired.
Brown then went about the process of updating his passport in Philadelphia, but that's when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers called his agent, and asked him to come down to sign a contract. That's what he did on Wednesday, and now, the return specialist is in the NFL.
Brown's size may be a concern, but it's clear that he ran bigger than expected in college. He backed up current Baltimore Ravens standout Bernard Pierce through the his junior season, but managed to gain 916 yards and score six touchdowns on 155 carries in 2011 as a reserve. He wasn't as productive on the ground for the Owls in 2012, amassing just 372 yards and four touchdowns on 60 carries, but his return acumen should help a Tampa Bay team that ranked 28th in Football Outsiders' special teams metrics in 2012, and logged the third-worst kick return efficiency figures.
Brown had tried out unsuccessfully for the Eagles and Bucs before.
Also, just a note to the guys at Philly.com: That's LPGA golfer Inbee Park in the photo -- we don't want people to think that Brown has has some sort of radical offseason...