British Columbia Lions tackle-guard Jovan Olafioye won the Canadian Football League award for most outstanding offensive lineman last season. Now, he would like to make his name in the NFL. Will the Pittsburgh Steelers be able to sign him?
Olafioye’s first choice was to play for the Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately, the Packers turned down the 6-foot-5, 320-pound lineman after reviewing his medical records. Olafioye needs to take medication to control hyperextension. For this reason, the Packers never gave him a physical and instead turned him away after reading over his records that they received from his various doctors.
“It’s my blood pressure, but I’ve got it under control,” Olafioye said. “I’ve been to so many doctors and I’ve been cleared by them all.”
“They’re sure I’ll be playing for somebody in the NFL this year. That was encouraging. They said my situation is controllable but they didn’t want to take that risk. With their rules they can’t mess with my situation.”
It is understandable that the Packers did not want to screw around with someone that has a unique medical record, but can the team really afford not to sign a top-notch offensive lineman? Green Bay’s front five were among the worst in football this past season. If the Packers have any fixes that must be made in the off-season, it is figuring out how to better protect quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
However, what is one’s team loss seems to be another’s gain considering as much as six NFL teams are interested in acquiring Olafioye. Pittsburgh is one of the organizations that has expressed interest, and seem to be prepared to at least give him a physical. It would be wise for the Steelers to sign the incredibly athletic but inconsistent lineman to a minimum contract.