DENVER — For Colorado kids, there’s a new idol in town.
Mike Purcell was cut 10 times, by six NFL teams. He toiled on practice squads in New England, Chicago, San Francisco, Kansas City and North Carolina. He began 2019 in a league that no longer exists — the Alliance of American Football. When the AAF folded into oblivion, Purcell said, he briefly considered “a (real) job.”
“I probably would have (become a firefighter), if this didn’t work out,” Purcell said Tuesday.
It worked out — bigly. Once undrafted, unknown and unwanted, Big Mike signed a three-year extension with the Broncos, his hometown team, worth a reported $14.8 million — $8 million guaranteed. To honor the man, I drove from his old school, Highlands Ranch High, to UCHealth Training Center, where Purcell, a defensive lineman, became Colorado’s newest millionaire. The commute took 13 minutes. His wild journey took a decade