Pro Footballer Lawrence Tynes Kicks For — And Then Sues — Tampa Bay
At one time, Lawrence Tynes was invincible in professional football. A terrific kicker with star power, Tynes had a knack for coming through in the clutch. Many fans remember the 2007 and 2011 season when he kicked over time game-winning field goals for the New York Giants.
When Tynes was 36, he gave up football for good. After nine active seasons he wasn’t in a hurry to spend more time with his wife and twin boys. Tynes hadn’t abandoned his goal of earning an All-Pro position either.
Tynes is the only player in NFL history to have two overtime game-winning field goals in the playoffs. Tynes kicked the longest postseason field goal in Lambeau Field postseason history (47 yards) in the 2007 NFC Championship Game.
The Curtain Drops
In 2013, after signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tynes contracted an aggressive staph infection.
Tynes blamed the owners and operators of the Bucs’ training facility and sued for $20 million, the amount he thinks he would have earned if he were find for another half-dozen or so seasons.
Tynes went from telling David Letterman war stories about the Super Bowl seasons with the Giants to agonizing over his situation with the Good Morning America squad even as he traded on his celebrity to land a gig as a consultant for a private aviation business. Tynes didn’t foresee the curtain dropping on him at the beginning of his career’s third act.
Fed up with the cold of MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Tynes inked a one-year deal with Tampa in 2013. Despite being in the top-20 roster of placekickers, Tynes went south to warmer weather where he believed he could have a good season and then sign a multiyear deal — with somebody, anybody.
Then his kicking foot got in the way.
Tynes’ habit of wearing cleats which were two sizes too small meant regular preseason podiatrist visits for ingrown toenails. On July 30, 2013, Tynes went to Bayshore Podiatry in Tampa, a consultant to the Bucs, Yankees and other sports teams.
The procedure to remove two-millimeters of his right toenail took ten minutes with the numbing the most time-consuming part.
The team suggested Tynes return to their facility for hot- and cold-tub baths while getting the wound’s dressing change. He did as told but noticed his toe didn’t heal as quickly as it had following other toenail treatments.
Eventually it turned red and swollen and made him feel feverish and too ill to practice. Tests of Tynes’ toe on August 9, 2013 showed the presence of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.