Bucs Sign Paralyzed Player

Why the NFL franchise made the classy move to the player full of inspiration.

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

Former Rutgers tackle Eric LeGrand was a guy that always wanted his shot to play in the NFL one day. After a suffering a traumatic injury in a game in 2010 — one that has left him paralyzed since — LeGrand probably never thought he would have such an elite opportunity…until now.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano was with LeGrand on the day of his accident — an Oct. 16, 2010 game against Army –and after seeing him persevere through all the challenges and hardships that have faced him since, has decided to sign LeGrand to an undrafted free agent contract.

"Leading up to the draft, I couldn't help but think that this should've been Eric's draft class. This small gesture is the least we could do to recognize his character, spirit, and perseverance. The way Eric lives his life epitomizes what we are looking for in Buccaneer Men."

The Rutgers star hasn't walked in almost two years, but he has made amazing progress. He sat up on his own as recent as March 27, and is intent on walking again someday. His goal is to return to the spot of his injury at MetLife Stadium and lie down in that exact spot on the field, get up and walk away.

The signing is a symbolic gesture, but a classy one at that. Whatever he decides to do with his career, LeGrand obviously has a tremendously bright future. He's been working with a publishing company in New york in order to release a biography and has been talking to sports marketing company IMG about a broadcasting career.

LeGrand will do play-by-play for Rutgers home games for the second year in a row starting this fall, and will graduate with a degree in labor studies.

Photo Credit: AP

Josh Helmuth is the sports editor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JHelmuth or subscribe at Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.