Almost ready to quit, Stanford Keglar gets one more shot with Vikings
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Stanford Keglar was almost ready to give up.
He'd been out of the NFL for nearly 21 months, since the Houston Texans cut him before the 2011 season. He'd played a season in the troubled United Football League, which has a history of not giving players their paychecks.
"After this summer, if I didn't get picked up by anybody, I was going to just throw the cleats up and move on," Keglar said on Wednesday. "But I kept the faith and kept training and all that and stuck with it."
It paid off with at least one more opportunity on Wednesday, when the Vikings signed Keglar to fill out their 90-man roster. Terms weren't immediately available, but it's likely a one-year minimum deal.
The 27-year-old Purdue product participated in Wednesday's practice, wearing a No. 60 jersey unbefitting of a linebacker, but somehow appropriate for how challenging the past couple of years have been.
A fourth-round draft pick (134th overall) by Tennessee in 2008, Keglar played in 25 games over two seasons, mostly on special teams, before the Titans cut him on Sept. 6, 2010. He signed with the Houston Texans the next month and played 10 games for them during the 2010 season, only to be released in the final roster reduction again on Sept. 4, 2011.
Out of NFL options, Keglar (6-foot-2, 250 pounds) signed on with the UFL's Las Vegas Locomotives, whom he estimates paid him about one-fourth of his salary -- maybe less -- for the 2012 season.
"Honestly, I'm really not even expecting the rest of it," Keglar said. "So, anything that comes is just a blessing to add on to it."
He remained in Las Vegas after the season, working out on campus with UNLV strength and conditioning coach Mike Gerber, who also worked with Keglar during the 2011 NFL lockout.
Now, he joins a Vikings linebacker group with numerous question marks, both in the starting lineup and in terms of depth. Keglar qualifies as a long shot, given how long he's been out of the league. But he has a clear idea of what he must do to make the team.
"As a linebacker, a backup, you make the team on special teams," Keglar said. "That's where I'll make my contribution."