TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Bernard Reedy won’t be returning to his side job anytime soon. The former undrafted free agent, who spends his offseason making $11 an hour working as a wheelchair transporter, was informed Saturday that he made the Bucs’ 53-man roster.
Reedy told ESPN, “Words can’t explain it. I’ve fought and fought year after year. To clinch a spot is priceless to me. Now it’s time to continue to progress and help the team in any way I can.”
As a member of the active roster, he’ll make a base salary of $465,000 this year, or a little over $27,300 per week.
Reedy made the Bucs’ only touchdown catch of the preseason Thursday night — a 10-yard pass from Sefo Liufau in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. He had been in a heated competition for the Bucs’ final receiver spot behind Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Adam Humphries and Chris Godwin.
The former Toledo standout caught a touchdown in last year’s preseason finale and made a strong case for himself to make the final 53, but suffered a torn meniscus and was waived/injured. He then spent the year working for Care Ride, a program similar to Uber that provides transportation services to people in wheelchairs.
He started with the company in 2015, when he was waived by the Atlanta Falcons after OTAs, and was away from football for a year.
Reedy, who still lives in his childhood St. Petersburg, Florida home, had opportunities to work out for other teams after he recovered from a knee scope. He chose to hold out hope for the Bucs, however. They re-signed him to the practice squad Dec. 10 and he was active for the final two games of the season.
“I think he had a real consistent camp,” said Bucs coach Dirk Koetter. “Bernard is a situational player. Obviously by his stature, he’s not your traditional X receiver that’s going to go out there and go against a team’s best corner in press-man all day. But in the things that he’s [been] asked to do, I think Bernard’s done a good job.”
Reedy knew he was in a tight battle for the final receiver spot, but rather than waiting around by the phone Friday as cuts were announced, he took his grandmother Yonnie Jordan to breakfast. On Saturday, she had to travel to Atlanta with his uncle, but sent him a text message.
She told him, “I’m proud of you for never giving up.”