Tennessee Titans linebacker Tim Shaw re-signed with the team on Monday, agreeing to a three-year deal, but not before a little bit of a detour.
Shaw not only made a visit to the Detroit Lions, but also spent a week in Haiti as part of a volunteer group, helping at an orphanage in that country. Kansas City Chiefs tight end Kevin Boss, a good friend of Shaw's, invited him on the Haiti trip.
Shaw was also part of a mission trip to Costa Rica the first week of free agency with teammate Fernando Velasco, players from the Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers as well as team chaplains from a number of NFL teams. On that trip, he and the players shared not only their faith but also some football expertise with youngsters there.
“The trip to Costa Rica was actually the week free agency started,” Shaw said. “I had that planned, and then Kevin Boss, who is a good friend of mine offered me the chance to go to Haiti, and I jumped at it.”
Shaw said the week at the orphanage in Haiti was moving.
“That is a tough place to live and a tough thing to see. The poverty there is unreal,” he said. “It adjust your perspective and kind of brings you back to what is important, because it is tough to see people living that way.”
Shaw said taking the time to serve others helped put things in the proper perspective, even as he was deciding between whether to stay with the Titans or take an offer from the Detroit Lions.
“I knew things would work out and me going to focus on other people and serve other people was beneficial,” he said. “I knew there was no way that that could harm me football-wise. It was actually a great blessing that I wasn't able to be here worrying about where I was gonna end up. I was focused on other people and what we were doing and the good stuff that was going on and helping other people. I knew it would work out if I was supposed to end up back here.”
Shaw admits that the Lions' offer was tempting, since it was about 10 minutes from where he grew up in Michigan.
“My heart was in Tennessee, but it was a situation where it would have taken a very enticing offer for me to leave, and Detroit's offer was very enticing,” Shaw said. “The idea of being at home with my family being about 10 minutes away from where I grew up was very, very enticing. Plus, there's the situation where the Lions are going to be a good team. But at the end of the day, Tennessee was where I wanted to be. I love the relationships I've built here with the players and coaches, and being a captain, and just living in Tennessee.”