In the midst of a flurry of off-season wheeling and dealing by Indianapolis Colts GM Chris Ballard, the team has signed CB T.J. Carrie, a free agent, released from the Cleveland Browns in February.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 30, 2020
TJ Carrie has been in the league since 2014.
Yet he remains relatively unknown outside of Oakland and Cleveland.
Travis J. Carrie is 29 years old and has four brothers who played collegiate football.
Here are three things to know about him.
1. He is taking a pay cut to come to Indy.
Carrie was a salary cap casualty at Cleveland; he was entering the third year of a four year $31 million dollar contract.
The Browns contract netted him a guaranteed salary of $15.5 million and a $3.6 million signing bonus.
In comparison, the Colts signed him to a one year deal for the veterans’ minimum of $910,000 with $300,000 guaranteed a $137,000 signing bonus.
Carrie’s signing comes four days after former Minnesota Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes inked a one year deal with the Colts.
The Carrie/Rhodes tandem will be interesting.
Like Carrie, Rhodes was also cut by his team while under a lucrative contract.
Both have something to prove to their former teams and the NFL at large.
2. He is a natural athlete since childhood but had to overcome adversity.
TJ Carrie grew up in Concord, California.
He excelled in track and football in high school, but the success did not come easy.
When he was 15 years old, he passed out at a preseason football workout.
After being diagnosed with a rare coronary artery anomaly that disrupted oxygen flow as his lungs expanded, TJ had the choice of avoiding physical activity and contact sports forever or undergoing open-heart surgery.
On Valentine’s Day 2006, TJ had open-heart surgery.
Following a two month hospitalization and 16 months of outpatient recovery, TJ returned to competitive sports.
That life-changing experience never left him and in 2016, he established the TJ Carrie Foundation.
He visits childrens’ hospitals, raises funds, and his foundation conducts camps and events that encourage children with congenital heart defects to become warriors.
Instead of glossing over his heart defect, he has made it his crusade to inspire children who face similar hurdles.
— TJ Carrie (@tj_carrie) March 10, 2020
3. He is a solid performer but often falls under the radar.
After a four year career at Ohio University where he played on defense and special teams, TJ entered the 2014 NFL Draft.
He showed off his track speed at the NFL Combine with a 4.43 second 40-yard dash.
Selected by the Oakland Raiders in the 7th round (as the 219th overall pick and the 24th CB overall), he was happy to play close to home.
He played four seasons with the Raiders before playing two seasons for the Browns.
In 2019, he tallied 40 solo tackles and an interception.
He is consistent, not injury-prone, and has played in all 16 games each of the last four seasons.
GM Chris Ballard continues to excite Colts fans with these intriguing offseason signings.
TJ Carrie has the reputation of being a good teammate and a versatile CB who can play outside or in the slot.
AFC South opponents beware.