Robert Tonyan shares horror stories from NFL roster cut day

Robert Tonyan shares horror stories from NFL roster cut day originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Tuesday is arguably the toughest day in the NFL. Across the league, teams cut their roster down from a potential 91 players all the way down to 53 players. That means many, many guys find out they lost a job. For some it will be the end of their NFL careers.

Bears tight end Robert Tonyan didn’t need to worry about being cut this year. He’s been a roster lock for a long time. Tonyan’s gone through the worst of roster cuts though, and on Tuesday he shared some of his horror stories.

“When I was in Detroit I had the worst,” Tonyan said. “I went in to sign my practice squad contract and then they didn’t have it all of the sudden.”

That was when Tonyan was a rookie in 2017. Tonyan never did make it onto that Lions practice squad and spent the good part of the year sitting at home. Finally, he signed on with the Packers in the first week of December.

“I’m glad I learned about the business of the NFL earlier than later, that’s for sure,” Tonyan said. “So, yeah. I went through that pretty quickly. It kind of gave me a chip on my shoulder.”

Tonyan’s first cut day experience was pretty awful, but it didn’t end for him there. Later in his career, Tonyan thought he didn’t make the team when in fact, he had.

“The next year I go in and they call me, I get the prank call that I got cut and then I go in there and I made the team, so it’s like, completely opposites,” Tonyan said.

The prankster was a former teammate who had been cut by the Packers for real. According to an ESPN story about the incident from 2018, the text said to report to Lambeau Field and turn in his iPad.

“I had a really good preseason and they basically told me I was on the team,” Tonyan recalled on Tuesday. “So I was like, ‘Cool.’ And I’m at home playing video games with my buddy and all of the sudden I got that text. I literally drove so mad to the building. I hand in my iPad, then my tight ends coach and GM are super excited to see me. It was weird… I was super confused.”

Per the 2018 ESPN story, Packers security was able to figure out who sent Tonyan the mean-spirited text, but they didn’t tell him who it was.

Fortunately for Tonyan, he was spared the personal dramatics of roster cuts on Tuesday.

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