Cards: Sage 2011 Houston Rookies Dual Auto, Sage 2011
Acquired: 2017, EBay
Lestar Jean had an upwards ticking career while at Florida Atlantic. The wide receiver increased his production in every year while playing at the college. In 2010, his Senior season, Jean had 64 receptions for 988 yards and 8 touchdowns. He finished his 4 years at FAU with 146 receptions for 1992 yards and 15 TDs. Considered still pretty raw, scouts loved his build, size, and his explosiveness. They felt he was a sneaky developmental prospect for the pro level. After not being drafted, he’d sign with the Houston Texans as a free agent.
He’d lose his entire rookie season to a shoulder injury, but after a strong preseason in 2012, he entered the season as the 4th wide receiver on the roster after an impressive preseason. During a 31-25 win over Denver, he’d make a 46 yard grab- displaying his big play potential. Although he tore his Meniscus on the catch he returned later in the season, rocking a 54 yard bomb for his first professional TD in a 24-10 shellacking of division rival Tennessee. In the meantime he’d bide his time on special teams.
Things came apart for the Houston Texans in 2013. They’d go from rags to riches, both in record and quarterback play, as Matt Schaub and a bevvy of other quarterbacks struggled in his place. Did Jean just not get the ball? Did coaches have enough of him hearing footsteps and dropping passes? Regardless, the Texans opted not to tender him after the season after only recording 4 receptions for 35 yards on the season.
Lestar would go on the free agent tour, trying out for the Dolphins and Panthers, eventually signing with the Vikings. He’d be placed on IR and released with an injury settlement in 2014 before even taking the field for Minnesota. Lestar rehabbed from injury and was part of the NFL’s first NFL Veteran Combine. Teams kicked the tires on Jean but did not sign him. He’d throw his hat in with the new MLFB (selected by Team Florida), but when a major investor backed out, the well intentioned league was left adrift. He was later assigned to the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League in 2016 but did not take the field for the squad.
I remember when I played football, my coach came up to me on a few occasions after practice. He’d say to me, “I can’t tell what’s up with you. Some days you look like prime rib out there. Other days you look like a butt steak…” I feel like I found my pro equivalent in Lestar Jean.