Former Patriots tackle Ryan O'Callaghan comes out as gay

Former Patriots tackle Ryan O'Callaghan comes out as gay


In a terrifically done piece by Outsports’ Cyd Zeigler, former Patriots tackle Ryan O’Callaghan has come out as gay. 

O’Callaghan, who was a fifth-round pick out of Cal by the Pats in 2006, spent three seasons with New England, the third of which saw him spend the entire 2008 season in injured reserve before being released. He then spent three seasons with the Chiefs and has been on permanent disability due to injuries since. 

In the piece, it is revealed that O’Callaghan’s intention was to use football to hide his sexuality and that he intended to kill himself once his career ended. He speaks to a “deadly serious relationship with football,” intimating that making the Patriots after being drafted was a means of keeping himself alive. 

The story notes that O’Callaghan felt New England was the perfect place to be drafted, as the Patriots were so focused on winning that he didn’t feel anyone would pay attention to his personal life. 

When his career ended following the 2011 season, O’Callaghan began abusing pain killers. He estimated that he was spending $400 a month on pain killers late in 2011, and that he had built a small cabin outside of Kansas City where he intended to kill himself. The cabin contained “a number of guns” and a suicide note that he would eventually leave. 

O’Callaghan said that he tried spending all his money and distancing himself from family members so that it would “impossible, or at least extremely difficult, to back out” of committing suicide. 

After coming out to a therapist while trying to kick his drug habit, O’Callaghan decided to confide in then-Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli. Having known of O’Callaghan’s drug problem, Pioli feared when O’Callaghan asked for a meeting that the player had done something wrong. The exchange of the meeting, per Zeigler’s story: 

'He had built this up like he was coming in to tell me that maybe he had done something truly terrible,' Pioli remembered.

O’Callaghan trudged into Pioli’s office the next day. After a hug and some small talk, O’Callaghan turned serious. He told Pioli he had been visiting with Wilson and had gotten 'clean.' It was good news to Pioli.

'I’ve got something else I’ve got to tell you,' O’Callaghan said. At this point he was fighting back tears. Pioli’s mind raced, wondering if his player had harmed or killed someone.

'I’m gay,' O’Callaghan said.

His private announcement was met with immediate support from the GM. Then:

'So what’s the problem you wanted to talk me about?' Pioli asked.

O’Callaghan looked at him, bewildered, 27 years of fear, anxiety and self-loathing meeting Pioli’s stare.

'Scott,' O’Callaghan said, 'I’m… gay.'

Pioli acknowledged that and asked again if O’Callaghan had done something wrong.

'People like me are supposed to react a certain way, I guess,' Pioli told Outsports. 'I wasn’t minimizing what he was telling me, but I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. He built this up and built this up to the point where he said he was nearly suicidal. What Ryan didn’t know is how many gay people I’ve had in my life.'

Pioli notes in the piece that O’Callaghan was not the first gay player to disclose his sexuality to him. 

O’Callaghan then came out to friends and family, revealing his contemplation of suicide as well. He now lives in his home town of Redding, Calif.

Click here to read the full story.

Patriots trade fifth-round pick to Chiefs for TE James O'Shaughnessy

Patriots trade fifth-round pick to Chiefs for TE James O'Shaughnessy

FOXBORO -- The Patriots began Day 3 of the draft by swinging yet another trade, moving a fifth-round pick (183rd overall) to the Chiefs for tight end James O’Shaughnessy and a sixth-round pick (216th overall). 

An athletic tight end who stands at 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds, O’Shaughnessy was drafted by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. He played in all 16 games last season, but served primarily as a special-teamer. 

The Illinois State product also had two catches for negative one-yards. Not awesome. 

Following the trade for O’Shaughnessy, the Patriots’ remaining picks are in the fourth round (No. 131 overall), the sixth (No. 216) and the seventh (No. 239).  
 

Jimmy Garoppolo stays put as quarterbacks go high, Browns make moves

Jimmy Garoppolo stays put as quarterbacks go high, Browns make moves

For all the questions that surrounded the top quarterbacks in the 2017 draft, an early run on signal-callers still occurred. The Browns sat it out -- even facilitating another team’s selection of a QB -- yet Jimmy Garoppolo stayed put. 

Garoppolo not being traded ahead of or during the first round should not have come as a surprise; Adam Schefter has insisted throughout the offseason that the Patriots would not trade him for anything. Yet for the prices that were paid for QBs Thursday night, it’s still fascinating to think of what New England could have gotten for their backup. 

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The madness started nearly immediately. After Cleveland took Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett to open the draft, the Bears moved up from No. 3 to No. 2 -- trading third-and-fourth-round picks this year and a third next season to San Francisco -- to take UNC’s Mitchell Trubisky. 

At No. 10, it was the Chiefs moving up to the Bills’ spot, going all the way from No. 27 and giving up next year’s first as part of a package to secure Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Two picks later, the Browns were on the clock with Deshaun Watson still on the board, but they opted to trade the pick to Houston, who gave Cleveland the 25th overall pick this year and their first-rounder next year before selecting the Clemson star. 

The Browns, who have long been viewed as a logical potential destination for Garoppolo, made two more picks in the first round, choosing Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers 25th and trading back into the first round to make Miami tight end David Njoku their third first-round pick of the night at 29th overall. 

While the Browns obviously spent plenty of draft capital Thursday, they still have not addressed the quarterback position beyond Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan and trade acquisition (that’s a nice way of putting it; a more honest would be “salary dump acquisition”) Brock Osweiler. 

That leads Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot to believe that the Browns will still try to swing a trade for Garoppolo, who is entering the final year of his four-year rookie deal. Cabot writes that the Browns will “likely make a pitch for the Patriots backup,” though she too notes Scheffer’s insistence that Garoppolo isn’t going anywhere. The Browns now have two firsts and three seconds in 2018. 

The Patriots still aren’t slated to pick until the third round on Friday, when they’ll be on the clock with the 72nd overall pick.