By now, you should know that NFL teams are willing to get really weird during their interviews with draft prospects. We've highlighted some of the bizarre questions prospects have been asked in the past—questions that have all had us asking, 'what the heck does that have to do with football?"
Which leads me to the point of this article. Ahead of the 2009 NFL Draft, there was a consensus that Matt Stafford was the best quarterback prospect available. The San Francisco 49ers held the 10th overall pick that year, so they understandably wanted to do their due diligence on Stafford.
Here's where things got weird. The 49ers arranged an interview with Stafford at the NFL Combine. During this interview, the team psychiatrist needled Stafford about the divorce his parents got when he was in high school. According to Sports Illustrated, Stafford believed he had assured the psychiatrist he had adjusted well. Apparently that wasn't enough for the shrink, who then told Stafford it sounded like he had "unfinished business" regarding the divorce. Stafford then wondered out loud how much he was being charged per hour for the psychoanalysis.
Shortly thereafter, Mike Singletary, then the head coach of the 49ers, went on KNBR (a bay area radio station) and expressed serious concerns about the incident. "If you're going to look at drafting a guy in the first round," Singletary said. "And you're going to pay him millions of dollars, and asking him about a divorce about his parents, if that's going to be an issue, then you know what, maybe he doesn't belong here." That certainly sounds like the 49ers removed him from their draft board after the interview.
It ultimately didn't matter, as Stafford was selected first overall in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. Since then, he's won the 2011 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award, been to a Pro Bowl, and become the highest-paid player in league history. His peers recently voted him as the 31st best player in the NFL.
The 49ers ended up selecting Michael Crabtree with the 10th overall pick, who's since moved on to the Oakland Raiders. Hat tip to Reddit for unearthing this odd piece of NFL history.
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