What's next after a life in the NFL? Recently, Bills alumni have been making headlines by making a difference away from the game.
Former Bills cornerback Jabari Greer participated in the recent NFL Broadcast Boot Camp at NFL Films in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, while former Bills receiver Lee Evans and linebacker Takeo Spikes both were part of the 2015 delegation of Global Ambassadors who took a trip to Haiti to help the greater good.
Greer played 10 years in the league, five with the Bills and five with the New Orleans Saints, with whom he won a Super Bowl.
After joining Buffalo as an undrafted free agent in 2004, Greer made the 53-man roster as a rookie and ultimately developed into a starting cornerback with the Bills. After leaving Buffalo, he was signed as a free agent by the New Orleans Saints and went on to play a key role on their Super Bowl XLIV championship team., That's the way it is supposed to work in the NFL, right?
"The American dream, the football edition," Greer said with a laugh in an interview on The John Murphy Show. "Just to be able to come up here with such an incredible fan base. I really am thankful for the Coach (Mike) Mularkey, Coach Jerry Gray who took a chance on me. I honestly would not be at the place that I am not if it wasn't for the grace that those men saw in me."
After his time in the NFL, Greer worked with WDUS-TV, an NBC affiliate in New Orleans, as a sports analyst covering the Saints. He was part of pregame and post-game shows.
"It was an awesome opportunity not many people get," Greer said. "I am really humbled and thankful that I actually got to do this."
Greer realized quickly how difficult being an analyst is.
"It is not as easy as people think," Greer said. "People think just come in and talk. They don't see the hours of preparation, the hours of technique learning, how to formulate a concise and thorough and thoughtful opinion and really conveying it in a way that expresses ease, enjoyment, and passion. That takes work."
It's also not easy to get into the NFL Broadcast Boot camp. To qualify you must be a former player and write several essays,
"I have been rejected twice," Greer said. "By the grace of God, someone dropped out this year and I got their spot."
At the boot camp, Greer and others do studio analyst work, radio play-by-play broadcasts, and meet with different executives who critique their film.
"I would love to do studio analyst work and grow in that area to really find my voice and find myself," Greer said. "I would love to make it look easy and be someone who gives your soul to the world of interpretation. I want to develop a style that is relateable."
So what's next for the former NFL star?
"I don't know and that's okay and I am just getting to the point now where it's okay," Greer said. "Whatever comes, I will be ready and give it 100 percent."
Evans, Spikes visit Haiti as Global Ambassadors
The Global Ambassadors trip that Evans and Spikes took was part of The Jack Brewer Foundation (JBF) Worldwide' Global Ambassadors Program, which aims to connect influential individuals to philanthropic organizations while traveling the world to make positive impacts in communities. The program focuses on initiatives such as food security, medical aid, disaster relief, education, cultural exchange, and sport for development and peace.
JBF Worldwide and the United States Federation for Middle East Peace (USMEP) embarked on their 2015 JBF Worldwide Global Ambassadors trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti to raise awareness and support for philanthropic efforts in the area.
The Jack Brewer Foundation (JBF Worldwide) was established by Jack Brewer, a former NFL player and CEO of The Brewer Group, to empower women and children living in impoverished and underdeveloped communities through food security, education and cultural exchanges, and medical aid and disaster relief.
The JBF Worldwide Sport for Development Day celebrates using sport as a catalyst for spreading education and cultural exchange. Through sport, the foundation is able to bring communities together and empower young and old alike to connect and support each other within their neighborhoods.
Spikes had an impressive, 15-year NFL career from 1998-2012. Currently, he is an on-air personality and analyst for two weekly NBC Sports shows and appears regularly as a host on SiriusXM NFL Radio. Spikes also serves as a JBF Worldwide Global Ambassador.
Evans played in the league from 2004-2012. In 2007, he had the AFC's longest reception at 85 yards and he was also the first player in NFL history to record two 80-yard-plus touchdowns in one quarter.