JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jason Babin and Kyle Bosworth were Jaguars teammates in 2012. Now, they are business partners, who offer a unique service to those who currently work at EverBank Field.
Following years of bouncing around the NFL, Babin and Bosworth launched RedZone Realty Group.
The Jacksonville-based real estate firm helps situate players in new homes as they focus on making the Jaguars' roster.
Babin and Bosworth based their business around the issues they both faced as NFL journeymen.
Babin, a former first-round pick, played for nine NFL franchises in 12 seasons. After his second of two stints in Philadelphia, he was claimed off waivers by the Jaguars in the middle of the 2012 season.
Babin's transition from the Eagles to the Jaguars was difficult. He didn't have an offseason to get situated and he had to find a way to keep his family comfortable while quickly learning a new defense.
"In my situation, I've gotten to see everything from all points of view," Babin said. "I got to see it from the journeyman point of view, I got to see it from the multi-million dollar, flying in a private jet point of view, so I've kind of seen it from all aspects of the process, so it really gives you perspective because not every situation is the same."
Bosworth signed with the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2010. He spent three of his four NFL seasons in Jacksonville, but played for two teams during his final year in the league.
After spending the 2013 offseason with the New York Giants, Bosworth was released. He eventually signed with the Dallas Cowboys later that year.
Despite being a Dallas native, Bosworth's transition from New York to Texas probably would have been made easier by the services he and Babin currently provide for RedZone's clients.
"Being an undrafted guy, always having [your] job on the line, you sign a one-year deal and you don't do that well in Week 2, all of a sudden you're cut," Bosworth said. "You just signed a lease for 12 months and you're spending X amount of dollars. You've got to pay it out and you might not even be living there."
Due to that aspect of the business, Babin and Bosworth rent homes to players who could potentially leave town shortly after moving in.
"What we do is we have rentals, we do investments, we have houses," Bosworth said. "We have a lot of guys, a lot of players living in those houses and we understand that guys do get cut. We've got a good relationship with them to where if someone gets cut then we understand it. We make it work because someone else is going to come, needs a place to stay, it needs to be furnished in an area that's close enough to the facility where they're not going to be late and get fined."
The firm's unique perspective has helped secure several clients, including recently signed Jaguars linebacker Josh McNary.
"RedZone was instrumental when I decided to make Jacksonville home," McNary said. "I had been looking for weeks on my own and once they stepped in, I got the best place I could've asked for in rapid fashion. Within a month of meeting Kyle I was in my first home. They were especially helpful as former players in how they related to my circumstances and accounted for all of them when offering options."
The early success is encouraging and the duo behind RedZone is excited about giving back to their NFL fraternity. Their familiarity with the struggles of current players has made them a key resource on the First Coast.
"We need to help facilitate any and all things for the players," Babin said. "And I think the biggest thing about what we do is we put the player first. I think that's what makes all of the guys up at the stadium comfortable with us. That's what we do, we've been there, we've been in their shoes and we're going to put them first."
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.
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