Overbaugh misses first NFL start by a week
Sundays in the NFL can be cruel. This one was for Jeff Overbaugh, and he wasn't even playing. He was only a week away -- that close.
Overbaugh, a long snapper survived the Chicago Bears' NFL mandated cut down making their 53-man roster Saturday.
But early Sunday, the team brass told him at their training complex in Lake Forest, Illinois, he was being waived for a more experienced player.
"They called and let me know. Went into the facility, met with the GM and met with some coaches," he said by phone to KTVA Sports on Sunday. "That's how it went down."
He was signed earlier in the week, following an injury to Patrick Scales. Overbaugh played in the Bears' preseason game against the Browns Thursday night in Chicago, successfully converting all nine of his snaps.
But the Service High School graduate who attended San Diego State lost out to a more experienced player, 30-year-old Andrew DePaola who was released by Tampa Bay. DePaola played 48 games the last three seasons with the Buccaneers. When he became available, the Bears claimed him off waivers Sunday.
"Kinda part of the business," said Overbaugh. "If at any time they feel that there's a snapper out there that can benefit the team more than me then that's a move they're going to make ten times out of ten."
Maybe so, but this would have been the perfect place. His mother is from Chicago.
"So that made it pretty cool. To play in front of her for the hometown team, so that was definitely an additional benefit," he said.
Working toward his graduate degree in psychology, Overbaugh isn't giving up just yet. But the Canadian Football League isn't a likely option.
Each CFL team has a maximum roster of 44 players but can carry no more than 20 international. Of that 20, many are skill positions. Former East High School star Caleb Holley is a wide receiver for the Saskatchewan Rough Riders. He found a home north of the border after being let go by the Buffalo Bills two years ago. A specialist like Overbaugh would have a tough time making a roster there.
"Obviously it's a good rule to grow the game in Canada, but certainly can hurt some American athletes," said Overbaugh who is still in Chicago.
He has money saved from his time with the Rams and Broncos who also let him go. But with family in the Lower 48, he plans to stay so he can focus on training.
And be ready -- and hope the phone rings again.