Anthony Hargrove’s journey to the NFL was not an easy one. His father wasn’t around. He bounced from foster care to homeless shelters in Brooklyn. His mother passed away from AIDS complications when he was 9. He finally found stability after being sent down to Florida to live with his aunt. While in Florida, Hargrove discovered his passion for football and played quarterback and safety for Port Charlotte High School.
Hargrove thrived on the football field and earned a scholarship to Georgia Tech. He excelled on the football field as a defensive end but struggled mightily in the classroom and flunked out after two season. After his dismissal from school he fathered a child out of wedlock and took several jobs to try to provide for his son while staying in football shape with the idea of making it to the NFL.
The St. Louis Rams decided to take a chance on him in the third round of the 2004 NFL draft. Things started off smooth, but Hargrove began acting up in his third year with the team and was traded to Buffalo. After two more productive seasons in Buffalo, Hargrove began using cocaine, alcohol and marijuana. He failed two drug tests and was suspended for a year by the NFL.
After 10 months in rehab, Hargrove was ready to prove he cared about himself as a person and his career as a football player. League executives were scared to take a chance on him, but the Saints gave him a shot and Hargrove never looked back. Hargrove played with the Saints for two seasons before moving on to the Seahawks. After one year with the Seahawks, Hargrove has moved on again. The Packers agreed to sign the free-agent in hopes of upgrading their putrid defensive line. "When you think of this team," Hargrove said of the Packers, "you think of one of the most respected organizations in the league. For them to come after me is very moving. I feel blessed today."
Before he had a chance to lace up his cleats with the Packers, the NFL handed Hargrove an eight game suspension for his alleged role in a “bounty” program with the Saints. Hargrove has denied the allegations and is appealing the ruling.
Whether he suits up for the team in week 1 or week 9, there is no doubt Green Bay fans and teammates will learn and respect Hargrove’s remarkable life story. Welcome to Packer Nation, Mr. Hargrove.