Here's Where Clay's Football Career Stands After 'The Bachelorette'

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During a night in which Bachelorette Becca and a nationwide audience were introduced to a bevy of men pining for her heart, a few announced themselves as early favorites in the running. Among those that stood out was Clay, a soft-spoken football player who took time out of his athletic career to stay in The Bachelorette mansion. But does his appearance on The Bachelorette mark a new journey for Clay and the end of his career, or does Clay still play football after The Bachelorette?

Sports Illustrated describes Clay as a "Former NFL tight end," but that doesn't mean he's done with football. After having played in the NFL for teams such as the Philadelphia Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, Detroit Lions, and the New England Saints, USA Today confirms that Clay Harbor is now considered an unrestricted free agent. This means that Harbor has his pick of who he would like to sign with for future seasons given that those teams also want him, and has not yet signed on to a team. Harbor ended his 2017 season with the the New Orleans Saints, and was placed on injured reserve during the season according to CBSSports.com. His future in the NFL is unclear, there's no better way to pass the time than taking the chance to possibly find true love on The Bachelorette.

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While Clay has a history as a football player, he made sure to present the parts of his personality that didn't revolve around football during his time on The Bachelorette thus far. His opening line to Becca did make mention of his time playing football and the fact that "I’ve caught a lot of passes in my day, but if I were to land you, you’d by far be the biggest catch of my life," but he managed to show Becca enough of his personality outside of the NFL that she kept him around past the first evening.

Later in the evening he met up with Becca for a brief arts and crafts session to play with — get this — clay to help her remember his name. Later episodes of The Bachelorette may play into his experience with football, but he seems to be presenting himself as an average suitor more than an athlete.

Part of Clay's hesitance to present himself as a football player may have to do with the uncertainty of his future career. While being on injury reserve does not mean that Clay's career is over, it's hard to say for certain what Clay's future in football looks like when his injury has not been disclosed. If his injury is something relatively minor, then Clay could find himself off of injury reserve following his time on The Bachelorette. However, a more severe injury could mark the end of his NFL career, much like fellow Bachelorette contestant Colton Underwood who suffered a career-ending injury in 2016, per TVGuide. While his injury is shrouded in mystery, what happened that put Clay on injured reserve is exactly the kind of dramatic revelation that could make for a memorable and emotional one-on-one date — if the show decides to go that route.

Paul Hebert/ABC

Clay's appearance on The Bachelorette is, on the surface, about trying to court Becca and see if they would be well-suited as a couple, but also could mark a huge shift for Clay's professional career. Will his appearance on The Bachelorette make him a hotter commodity as a free agent? Is The Bachelorette the beginning of a new career for Clay as a public figure or television personality? Only time will tell how Clay's life post-Bachelorette will go, but Clay has proven that while he is someone who plays football, there's far more to him than his career.