"I didn't want to report to a team until I was 100 percent ready," he said. From his offseason home in Park City, he trained and rehabbed his injured knee. Just when he felt like he was ready to play again, he learned about the cancer.
"I don't know if anyone is interested now," he says. "Teams with issues called and said let us know when you're ready. I was the best option during camp. My agent will send a letter to the teams telling them what's going on and to keep us in mind for an emergency guy. He'll tell them our plan and when I'll be ready. A lot is going to depend on needs."
This is the latest of many setbacks for Curtis since his superb 2007 season with the Philadelphia Eagles. After signing a six-year, $32 million free-agent contract with $9.5 million of it guaranteed, he rewarded the Eagles' investment by catching 77 passes for 1,110 yards and 6 touchdowns. That included a superb game against the Lions in which he caught 11 passes for 221 yards and 3 touchdowns.
But in the two seasons since then, Curtis missed 20 of 32 games, first with a sports hernia and then with a knee injury. The Eagles, having drafted DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, decided to waive Curtis earlier this year to go with the younger players and save the $1.1 million roster bonus Curtis was due to receive as well as his $4.5 million salary.
"Kevin is one of the classiest players I have ever been around," Eagles coach Andy Reid said at the time. "He's the type of player and person we like to build our team with. We just feel good about the young core of receivers we have on our team at this point."
The 32-year-old Curtis, who has 252 career catches and 20 touchdowns while playing for the Rams and Eagles, says this about his football future: "I don't know for sure what's going to happen. I'm prepared never to play again if it doesn't work out, but I want to give it a shot. Even if I don't play this year, I think I would prepare all year and try next year."