Life in the NFL isn't just crowded stadiums, hefty paychecks and a great deal of fame. To players like Brad Bedell, it involves much more than that.
Bedell, a 6-foot-4, 306-pound offensive lineman, happened to get caught in what is known as the "business side" of football on Sunday, September 5. That was the day when teams had to set their 53-man rosters, which always includes making tough decisions in who to keep, and who to cut.
Cut-down day is also known as a day of minor wheeling and dealing as teams address their needs in anticipation of the regular season. The Packers weren't pleased with their offensive line depth and they worked out a deal with the Miami Dolphins to acquire Bedell for a conditional 2006 draft choice.
To make a long story short, a player can be a Dolphin one day and a Packer the next and the only choice he has is to deal with it. For many players, that is a difficult concept to accept, but Bedell insists he didn't mind packing up and continuing his career in a new place.
"I wasn't upset," Bedell explained. "Number one, it's part of the business. Number two, it's nice to come to a place where they looked at the film and they liked me somewhat. They made the effort to come and get me. It's always nice to be wanted."
Bedell appealed to the Packers because he can play left guard and left tackle. Plus, he has experience. Originally selected by the Browns in the sixth round of the 2000 draft, Bedell has played in 23 games with four starts in his career. However, the former University of Colorado standout acknowledges that the Packers' starting line is one of the best in the game and playing time will be difficult to come by.
"My goal is to play hard," Bedell said. "Everyone knows their role on the team, but as an offensive lineman you prepare to play. Things happen and you prepare as if you are going to play in the ballgame, whether you're the number one guy or the eighth lineman."
Bedell said playing for the Packer organization and a fiery coach like Larry Beightol is an honor.
"Coach Beightol asks you to play, he asks you to play hard and he asks you to do it right. There's nothing wrong with that, and those are the guys you want to play for."
According to Bedell, Green Bay is unlike any other place he's ever played.
"You can talk about it, but once you step in this locker room and when you're walking down the hall with all of the pictures of the Packer greats and the Super Bowl trophies, it's unbelievable," he said. "I have been to Lambeau Field before with the Browns, but it's different coming in here as a visitor and coming in and playing here. It's exciting."
Although the city of Green Bay may be new to him, Bedell said some of his new teammates aren't exactly strangers to him.
"I knew Tausch (Mark Tauscher), and Chad Clifton and I played in the Senior Bowl together. Those guys were in my age group and the same year in college. I played with Hannibal Navies at CU as well, so it's nice to see the guys again.
"It's nice to know guys, because when you know somebody you don't hesitate to ask them questions. You ask them where's a good place to live or a good place to eat. That always helps."
Just as Bedell is happy to have friends on the team to help him adjust to his new team, he is even more excited that he is part of such a storied organization.
"It's great," Bedell said. "How could you not like it? I mean you grow up and you dream of playing one day in Lambeau Field. Tradition-wise, the first team that comes out of everybody's mouths is the Green Bay Packers. I just enjoy being a part of it."
Maybe the "business side" of the NFL isn't all that bad to players like Bedell after all.