Normally, after signing a multi-million dollar deal with a new team, a professional athlete would do all he or she could to impress the new squad.
At the very least, you would think the player would want to attend practice in order to become familiar with coaches and teammates.
So that's why many people are surprised to hear that Cary Williams, the cornerback who signed a three-year, $17 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason after helping the Baltimore Ravens win a Super Bowl, has missed several OTAs for unusual reasons.
In recent weeks, Williams missed OTAs in order to receive dental work and attend his daughter's dance recital. He also admitted that he's having a new house built and wanted to inspect the construction. While OTAs are technically voluntary, as Dan Hanzus of NFL.com notes, in today's day and age they are practically mandatory.
Williams, however, did not seemed fazed or apologetic when reporters asked him about his absences.
"It's just funny. I mean, fans, I love y'all, but jeez, give me a break," Williams said. "If I was a guy that had three kids with three different women and I was a womanizer, you'd be reporting that. Now I'm a guy that wants to go see his girl's recital and I'm a bad guy. Like, come on, man."
While that excuse sounds legit, the other reason Williams offered for missing an OTA probably won't sit well with fans.
"I don't want to sound like it's disrespect. I love my job," Williams said. "I just had to make sure my sconces, my wood was picked out, my fireplace … it was a whole bunch of stuff that was going on."
Sconces, huh? Tough life.
In Williams' defense, missing OTAs might have been more common several years ago. He told reporters that several star players were absent from Ravens OTAs when he was in Baltimore. Plus, attendance at OTAs has only been reported over the past few years, when the media and the league reached an agreement to allow reporters in to every third workout.
But still, Williams is in a new city with a new coach. An injury or personal emergency is one thing, sconces are another.