Vinny Curry Still Mourning Loss of Brother

Ed Kracz

Vinny Curry wasn’t sure about playing football this fall, maybe ever again.

He was a free agent and NFL teams had been in touch with him about playing for them, but he was in no mood. Curry was grieving the loss of his half-brother Dr. Gerald Glisson, who passed away from coronavirus complications on May 6.

Curry said he “started to get the itch” to play again once training camps began to open, and that is when he weighed his options and decided to return to the Eagles just last week, even if that meant taking less money than had been reportedly offered by the Cleveland Browns.

“When you’re grieving like that and you talk to someone every single day and it happens the way it happens, you’re not thinking about nothing else but the family and dang, is there a hex on this thing,” said Curry during a videoconference call on Thursday afternoon.

Curry talked as candidly as he could about losing his brother, even though there were times during the interview the pain of losing someone close to him was evident.

“The passing of my brother has really, really been hard on me, so I thought I would just take my time with it,” said Curry. “I didn’t even think about the game, honestly.

“Once teams got into training camp you see how safe the facilities are, so my thing was just it’s time to get back out there. Felt like, you know what, I’m gonna go do it.”

A high school principal at Paterson’s Eastside High School in Northern New Jersey, Glisson was 46 when he succumbed to the virus, and from the time he was diagnosed to the time he passed happened quickly, said Curry, who is 32.

Glisson, who Curry said was 6-5, 300 pounds, played football at Delaware State University before finding his way into education, a career that also saw him serve as an athletic director.

Curry said his brother mentored him on the career path that led him to play football at Marshall University before being taken in the second round of the 2012 draft by Philadelphia.

Glisson was remembered in his community as a “gentle giant,” according to a report by NJ.com, and left behind a wife and two daughters.

His brother’s passing is why Curry lasted as long as he did on the free-agent market.

Curry’s been there, done that, in terms of leaving for what looked like greener pastures in Tampa Bay after helping the Eagles win a Super Bowl championship in the 2017 season. He lasted one year with the Buccaneers before returning to Philadelphia after being released following a disappointing season.

“I thank every team that was involved,” he said. “Everybody was very understanding on why I was saying no, and just staying put. Everybody was very understanding about it. That’s why it wasn’t one of those, ‘Oh, Vinny is still on the market. Vinny’s still out there.’

“It’s not that. Vinny chose to be out there, you know what I mean? I just want to say thank you to every team that was involved.”

Curry left an emotional post on his Instagram account shortly after his brother passed:

“My Idol. My big brother. The man I looked up to. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Because of you, I got to live my dream of playing college division 1 football. Words can’t describe how thankful I am for you.

“Because of you, I learned family values and how to never stop believing in yourself. I am lost, I am torn, I feel like my heart has been ripped right out of my chest. G, I pray I was able to make you proud. I hope you know how much you mean to me and how much I love you. Know that Michelle and the girls are safe. I will love and protect them. Until we meet again big bro..... love you.”

The Eagles are like family to Curry, and what better group of people to be around to help you mourn the passing of another family member.

“You gotta understand I was drafted here,” said Curry. “I have a personal relationship, besides football, with some of the guys that I look at as family or look up to. They know I was grieving and going through the process … so once it was time for the get-down, and I was ready to get back, you let business take care of business.”

So, when the Eagles expressed interest, he signed with them on Aug. 7 for $1.3 million with incentives that could allow him to up that to $2M.

“I’m just trying to chase his greatness,” said Curry about his brother, “his legacy.”

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