“They’re going to miss out on a hell of a player.”
Those are the words of former Arizona State linebacker Brandon Magee, who went undrafted over the weekend but was not out of work for very long.
The Dallas Cowboys offered Magee a $70,000 signing bonus to head to Arlington. He accepted, and now is ready to move his career forward while, in a way, punishing all the teams that passed up the chance to draft him.
Yet, even now he’s unsure why his name was not one of the 254 announced during the three-day event.
“I was getting calls during the end of the sixth round, there were teams calling me, talking about ‘I hope you get drafted, but if you don’t we would like to take you as a free agent,'” Magee told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Wednesday. “So it started before the draft was over, and then when the draft ended I talked to almost every single team, but nobody wanted to draft me, though.
“I don’t know.”
Magee led the Sun Devils with 113 tackles last season, and has all the intangibles a team would want. A leader who has overcome a significant injury, he is hungry to prove himself at the next level.
And now, the 5-foot-11, 229-pounder has a chip on his shoulder along with a contract to play for a team that he said fits his skill set.
In a way, that’s the one advantage to being and undrafted rookie free agent: you get to sign wherever you want (assuming the team wants you to begin with).
“At the end of the draft I discussed all the options I had from the different teams and discussed the best fit for me as a linebacker,” he said, noting that the 4-3 defense they plan to run in Dallas made the most sense.
Magee said former teammate and friend Vontaze Burfict, who signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted rookie free agent last summer, advised him to go to Dallas.
“He just thought about it as the best chance for me to get on the field,” Magee said.