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Nate Ebner swaps NFL for Olympic Rugby

Nate Ebner

One of NFL’s biggest players Nate Ebner will take a break from the sport for the next few months to try his hand at another sport. The Safety has been granted leave by his team New England Patriots to train with the United States Rugby team that will compete in the Olympics in Rio later this year. Ebner won’t rejoin the Patriots until the competition is over after the 12th August.

The news will come as a shock to many NFL fans since the safety seems to be playing at the peak of his game in the current season. Ebner won the Superbowl in 2015 with the Patriots beating Seattle Seahawks 28-24. He was also ranked as the third best safety in the league in 2015 as ranked by special-team tackles. Ebner secured 11 in 2015, putting him just one behind Brandon King and just six behind Matthew Slater.

He also signed a new two-year contract with the team just days before this announcement was made. The financials and terms of his contract haven’t been released, so it’s unsure what effect his desire to play rugby at the Olympics has had on the agreement.

The Patriots are looking so competitive at the moment that even after this announcement; they still look likely to make the next Superbowl final. UK bookmakers Coral still have them as favourites to win the 51st Superbowl with odds of 7/1, just ahead of the Panthers at 15/2. There are a lot of games still left to be played until we reach next year’s Superbowl so those odds could change rapidly. Luckily Coral are offering one of the best free bet offers online and will give you £20 in free bets when you first deposit just £5.

This isn’t the first time that Ebner has played rugby for the United States as in fact this is where his career started back at the age of 17. In 2006 he became the youngest ever player to play Rugby Sevens for the United States. He even competed for the country at the 2007 and 2008 IRB Junior World Championships before making the switch to NFL. If you don’t want to use your Coral free bet on the NFL markets then you could even bet on Ebner leading his team to victory in the rugby when the Olympic betting markets open later this year.

Although he’ll only be out of the game for a few months, the safety is sure to be missed by the team. The 27 year old has been a big part of the team for the last four seasons since joining the team in the NFL draft in 2012. Although he was only chosen as a sixth-round draft pick and 197th overall, he has been integral to much of the team’s success over the last few years. He has played in 57 league games for the team over the last four years, so will be leaving some big shoes to fill until August.

 

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