Bernard Reedy picked up a job as a driver when he was cut by the Atlanta Falcons in 2015

By Jason Duaine Hahn
February 02, 2018 01:28 PM
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New England Patriots player Bernard Reedy is currently prepping to make a run at the Vince Lombardi trophy on Sunday during Super Bowl LII, but regardless of the outcome, the wide receiver will be happily going back to his $11 an hour job in the weeks that follow.

When Reedy returns home to St. Petersburg, Florida, this offseason, he will get behind the wheel of a van to transport people with terminal illnesses and disabilities, according to ESPN. Reedy started the gig shortly after he was cut by the Atlanta Falcons in 2015. The dismissal forced Reedy to think of ways to bring in income when NFL teams weren’t calling, so he called Care Ride —a transportation company that assists those confined to wheelchairs.

Each offseason since, 26-year-old Reedy has been behind the wheel driving people who have given him a new perspective on life.

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty

“I used to think about a lot of the people I would pick up and the situations that they [were] in and the stories I heard. Some of the stories, the normal average person wouldn’t believe, but that stuff’s true,” Reedy told ESPN. “To be around positivity and listen to people go through what I went through — I went through it sportswise and they went through it in life.”

Reedy first joined the Patriots in November after he was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Pats released him on January 3 only to recall him on January 17 (phew).

This type of whirlwind schedule is nothing new to Reedy — he’s been cut by six teams in just four years. It’s a hard thing for anyone to handle, but transporting people through Care Ride has exposed Reedy to people who have survived strokes, heart attacks, transplants and amputations. This allowed Reedy to reevaluate his own experiences and difficulties.

“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,” Reedy told ESPN. “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.”

Jim Mahoney via AP

While he has been cut many times by many teams, Reedy keeps a positive and prepared attitude.

“That’s just what comes with the NFL and what teams need for them,” Reedy told ESPN. “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.”

Though Reedy only earns $11 an hour driving three days a week, he says he gets more out of the job than just money. His winning attitude has even caught the attention of Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

“He’s a great kid,” Belichick said. “He’s a great kid, works hard, he tries to do everything we’ve asked. He’s trying to continue to develop his career and build off what he did in Tampa.”

The Patriots will face off against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Reedy will be ready for what happens on the field, and what goes on off of it.

“As soon as our offseason officially starts,” Reedy said, “I’ll be back at Care Ride when I’m able to. The work don’t stop. Everybody still needs help.”