If there’s a really good way to ensure that you get cut from your NFL team’s roster and never get signed by another team, Washington Redskins defensive end Kentwan Balmer has figured it out. Balmer recently ditched training camp without telling anyone where he was going and he changed his phone number, to boot.
Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan tried to downplay Balmer’s absense from camp, but admitted that the team has absolutely no idea where its player is. Shanahan said in an interview that he hopes it’s “nothing very serious” and then tried to steer the interview back to the topic of the Redskins players who are actually taking part in training camp.
There are no indications that Balmer is in any specific danger. In fact, he has apparently changed his phone number–a clear indication that he just wants to be left alone. However, on the heels of Tennessee Titans wide receive OJ Murdock’s recent suicide, it’s easy to see why members of the football community would be worried about Balmer’s wellbeing.
Selected by the San Fransisco 49ers in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft, Balmer has showed flashes of immense talent at times. He’s also proven to be a huge headcase and a hater of training camp (he failed to show up to 49ers camp in 2010 and got traded soon after).
NFL training camp is grueling, to be sure, but you don’t win over your coaches by playing hooky. Balmer only appeared in three games for the Redskins last season and he will almost certainly be cut after this latest fiasco–as soon as someone can actually locate him and notify him that his employment has been terminated.