Kyle Van Noy was disappointed when the Detroit Lions gave up on him earlier this season, but now he is more than happy about it as he prepares for Super Bowl LI.
After finally breaking into the Lions starting plans this year, Detroit traded him after seven games.
His destination? The New England Patriots.
"I felt like I wasn't playing that bad [at the time of the trade]," Van Noy told reporters.
"I felt like I was improving each week, and that's what it was all about. But they wanted to move on from me, so it is what it is.
"I'm in a better spot now. I'm in the Super Bowl.
"I had a hard two-and-a-half years. I took a lot of heat from you guys and I took a lot of heat, in general, and I think finally playing well is kind of showing people like, 'Oh, man, we kind of should have waited just a little bit longer, maybe.'
"You always have the dream, as a kid, to finish where you started things. And unfortunately, it didn't work out.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity that [Patriots head coach] Bill [Belichick] gave me here. It's been crazy, but I've enjoyed every bit of it, because it hasn't been easy."