During the 2005 offseason the Dolphins traded Brendon Ayanbadejo to the Bears. he went on to have three consecutive Pro Bowl seasons and would eventually win a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens. The Dolphins meanwhile would endure a season of mediocrity under Nick Saban.
Well, Ayanbadejo seems to think he was trades simply for taking a little bit of time off during the offseason because of the birth of his daughter.
While in training camp with the Miami Dolphins and anticipating her birth, I, along with the rest of my family, was on high alert the days before our daughter arrived. Dutifully, I let Nick Saban, my coach at the time, know we were expecting.
He made it clear that he expected me to be around and not miss any practice for this special moment for my family. I made it clear that I was going to miss as much time as it took for me to be there in support of my wife and my newborn child.
Ayanbadejo's wife also was bedridden during the time recovering from a c-section. He would however miss a full day of practice and admitted coming in late a few mornings. He says in total he missed only about 36 hours of practice.
Five days after the birth of his daughter Ayanbadejo found of he had been traded to the Bears. This despite the fact he had lead the team in special teams tackles during his two seasons with the teams, and was memorably responsible for setting up one of the biggest come-from-behind victories in Monday Night Football history against Tom Brady and the Patriots the previous season. The Dolphins meanwhile got a player who would never actually enter a game for them in return.
So there Ayanbadejo is with a newborn child and a recovering wife and he has to up and relocate to Chicago.
"Did Saban ship me off because I put my family before football?" he wonders. "Did the team question my desire to be a Dolphin because of my life priorities?"
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He seems to think so, and says that he never saw other plays catch flack for missing a bit of time for the births of their children on any other team he played for.
Of course, there's a reason Nick Saban was never able to find success in the NFL. Perhaps a big part of that is because he wanted to treat grown-ass men like college kids.