A former University of Georgia and Kansas City Chiefs defensive back, Commings signed a minor-league contract with the Atlanta Braves on Thursday to officially launch a long-shot, NFL-to-MLB journey. The 26-year-old was a 37th-round draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks out of Westside High School in Augusta, Ga., before turning his attention to football full-time. Commings last played competitive baseball in 2008.
General manager John Coppolella views the signing as a risk-free move.
Coppy on Commings: "We feel this is a tremendous athlete..Our mantra has always been to leave no stone unturned. What's the downside here?"
Commings was the Chiefs’ fifth-round pick in the 2013 draft.
It is not yet known where Commings will begin his minor-league career.
Braves scouting director Brian Bridges, in particular, is a noted proponent of multi-sport athletes.
Though Commings is not the most popular name in the National League East attempting to make the football-to-baseball transition this offseason — it is unlikely major sports networks will cover his at-bats like Tim Tebow with the New York Mets — the Braves have a successful history with two-sport athletes. Deion Sanders, of course, provided Bobby Cox’s early-90s teams with athleticism while also playing for the Atlanta Falcons while former NFL player Brian Jordan was a franchise standout at the turn of the century.
“It’s always been my No. 1 sport,” Commings said. “It’s always been my first love.”