Eight years ago, Ozzie Newsome was profiled in The New York Times. The Ravens general manager, coming off a year in which the team had found franchise quarterback Joe Flacco midway through the first round of the NFL draft, was depicted as “a placid personality in the N.F.L. maelstrom.”
Said former Ravens coach Brian Billick: “Rarely do you have an idea of how Ozzie feels about a player because he’s not going to prejudice it.”
Well, Travis Kelce knows how Newsome felt about him coming out of college. And it’s not how Kelce felt about Newsome.
As described in a new GQ profile of the Kansas City Chiefs’ star, Kelce, an Ohio native, had an autographed picture of Newsome from his Cleveland Browns playing days in his parents’ Cleveland Heights home. He wanted to tell Newsome, a fellow tight end, about it during their predraft interview in 2013.
That never happened. Kelce was coming off a standout senior season at Cincinnati, but he’d also missed his entire sophomore season for failing a drug test. His character was a red flag, as Newsome demonstrated in a lowlight reel played for Kelce.
“The tape showcases Kelce’s affinity for being a bit extra — pointing in opposing players’ faces, talking trash, roughing them up after the whistle has been blown,” GQ’s Clay Skipper writes. “Again and again, the film shows the college star’s penchant for offsetting downfield catches with yellow flags. According to Kelce, Newsome let about five clips play before throwing the remote on the table, turning to face him, and asking ‘Son, are you a f------ a------?’ ”
The Ravens, as you can probably guess, if you didn’t already know, passed on Kelce, who was taken with the first pick of the third round. He has twice been selected to the Pro Bowl.