Brian Price was drafted in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft. The plan was that he and the former UCLA product and first-round selection Gerald McCoy would team up to fortify the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' front line for years to come.
That all changed when Brian Price was traded to the Chicago Bears for undisclosed draft picks a few days ago (h/t Associated Press via Sports Illustrated). Price’s departure would seem as though the coaching staff had given up on the young man, but if you know anything about Price’s backstory, you may agree that this change of scenery may be for the best.
Price’s NFL career got off to a similar start to McCoy's. Price was injured and missed a good portion of his rookie campaign but was able to remain relatively healthy during the 2011 season, which was one of the worst defenses the Buccaneers have ever fielded.
Price had a ho-hum year but was able to notch a few sacks and 24 tackles and was being counted on to further his growth under the watchful eye under new head coach Greg Schiano.
Unfortunately, Price has been going through his own personal hell off the field for the last few years. Two of Price’s brothers were killed in gang-related shootings, which would be a traumatic experience for any young man.
The hits keep coming for Price when his sister was killed in a car accident just a few months ago. To his credit, Price and his wife made the decision to adopt his late sister’s children to provide them with a familiar face and home to call family.
Yet it seemed as though Price has had trouble dealing with this latest tragedy. Schiano allowed Price to remain in California during a number of team activities after the passing of his sister, but Price did himself no favors when he did eventually try to acclimate himself with his teammates for the 2012 season.
During an offseason meeting, Price got into an ugly confrontation with new first-round draft pick, Mark Barron and was sent home to continue training back home once again.
Once he got to camp, it has been reported that Price failed a conditioning run before he was traded to the Bears.
While it appears the Bucs did everything in their power to comfort Price and try to provide him every opportunity to compete for playing time, they eventually decided it was in the best interest of both parties to go in a different direction.
This is by no means to discredit Brian Price as a professional football player, as he is so early into his NFL career. He may very well be the impact player the Bucs envisioned in Chicago, but one thing is obvious: Price checked out (rightfully so) as a result of his personal tragedies.
At this point, the best thing for Brian Price is to take some time and make sure his house is in order. A clear head will surely lead to a successful future whether it is in the NFL or in another venture.
Here’s hoping Price finds his peace of mind in Chicago.