Signed to the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad last December, defensive back Earl Wolff was just trying to prolong his NFL career and stick on with another team. He was signed to a futures contract and returned to training camp with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the 2016 NFL season. Most players have eventful offseasons, but they're typically something like a vacation or traveling the world or something fun.
They're not usually being nearly kidnapped and fearing for their life. That's what happened to Wolff back in February, as he re-tells his story to Sports Illustrated.
My captors are panicking. I hear them conspiring, wondering if my friend has called the cops. They rush me back into the vehicle and secure zip ties around my ankles and my arms, which are tied behind my back. They put an itchy hat over my face. Now we're driving and driving, and I have no idea where we are or what time it is. At some point, two other men get into the vehicle and five of us are crammed into the backseat. I am exhausted. I try to keep my faith. I try to think of my mom. I am numb, but she is all I have left.
It's a pretty surreal story and I can't imagine being in the situation Wolff was in, but hopefully it's a reminder for his teammates that anything can happen, even just visiting a friend. He stated that he didn't think he was targeted because he was an NFL player, but the sad reality is that happens quite often because people see it as a way to get an easy payoff because there's a belief all NFL players are rich, when that's not even close to the case.