Akeem Ayers will remember Oct. 21 for a long time.
It was on that Tuesday that he was traded from the Titans to the Patriots, a midseason transaction that, potentially, could net him a championship ring.
“They made a decision that they felt like they needed to make,” Ayers said, per the Providence Journal. “I don’t have any hard feelings. I just took it as motivation and especially being here on this team, I feel like they did me a favor, honestly. I really don’t have any hard feelings for them. I have a lot of close friends on the team and I still talk to them. It’s nothing personal. I came here and I did a good job here and we’re going to the Super Bowl.”
Ayers was active for only two of the Titans’ first seven games — 10 defensive snaps overall. He was an outcast in Tennessee, relegated to special teams duty. In New England, however, the former second-round pick finally was given a chance to play, responding with four sacks and an interception in nine games.
Asked if the fortuitous move was akin to winning the lottery, Ayers didn’t disagree.
“I guess you could say that,” Ayers said. “I guess it kind of feels like that, going from like worst to first. I guess you could say in a sense, yeah.”
The Titans wound up with a 2-14 record, losing 10-straight to close the season. The Pats, meanwhile, finished with the AFC’s No. 1 seed, cruising to a berth in Super Bowl XLIX.
The stars didn’t just align for Ayers; the entire universe did.