On Feb. 23, former Philadelphia Eagles safety Earl Wolff endured what would undoubtedly be the most terrifying experience of any person's life. Wolff was kidnapped at gunpoint just after midnight when he got in his car to go from a friend's house to his mother's, which was just down the road. He was in town to celebrate her birthday.
Wolff had his Range Rover door held open by the assailant as he was threatened and asked to surrender the keys to his car at gunpoint. At first, he thought perhaps it was a joke, but it most certainly wasn't.
Wolff recounted the story in a first-person essay for the MMQB, sharing horrifying details of that night.
My 2011 white Range Rover is parked on the street. As I get in and reach for the seatbelt, someone yanks my door open. There's a man wearing a black ski mask and pointing an AK-47 inches from my face.
"Give me the keys!" he barks. "And get out of the car!"
I freeze, wondering if my buddy is playing a trick on me. I wonder if it's a sick joke. I babble, but words aren't coming out of my mouth.
Wolff complied and handed over his keys, wallet and phone after stepping out of his car. At that point, he was shoved in the back seat, where two men with shotguns sat next to him.
The kidnappers drove him around the neighborhood in his Range Rover, asking him "Where's the money at?" Wolff said he was slashed twice in the right knee after telling the men who he was, explaining that he plays in the NFL. After driving around for a short while, he was brought back to the place he was taken from.
We drive back to my friend's house. I am led to the door with my hands in the air. I feel the AK-47 pressed against my back. My friend opens the door. He instantly slams it in my face.
I now think I am dead. I close my eyes.
Eventually, Wolff was left zip tied on the side of the road.
The car jolts to a stop. I am pulled out of the back seat and shoved onto the road. Lying on my back, I think, I can't die this way. And then, in the distance, I hear the faintest sound of police sirens. The men hear it too, and they scurry into the car and speed away.
Wolff is now a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars as he attempts to make the 53-man roster and play another season in the NFL. His captors were arrested and have been charged for their actions. The investigation is still ongoing, though Wolff believes it was just a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The 26-year-old safety has played 18 games in the NFL and hasn't played a regular-season snap since 2014 with the Eagles.