The year was 2014.
For then-Seattle Seahawks second-year running back Spencer Ware, who was coming off a rookie season in which he had played just seven offensive snaps after being the team's sixth-round pick out of LSU, the subsequent release from the team at the end of that second preseason hit home.
It led the 5-foot-10, 228-pound Ware to being out of football for the entire 2014 season.
"Sitting out that year that I did, watching every game on Sunday, my old team, and watching possibly new teams, no one really wanted to mess with me," Ware explained, "but the [Chiefs] were the team that showed interest and were consistent."
The Chiefs signed Ware just two days after their final game of the 2014 season, a 19-7 victory over the San Diego Chargers.
After beginning the season on the practice squad, Ware was signed to the active roster after the season-ending injury to veteran Jamaal Charles in Week 5 against the Chicago Bears.
Less than 10 months removed from being out of football and watching regular season games at home on his couch, Ware was back on the field with an opportunity.
Not only that, but it was during a time in which he would be counted on by a contender with their backs against the wall and high expectations.
The Chiefs had struggled to a 1-5 start and Ware and Charcandrick West were needed to provide a spark by filling in for Charles—one of the NFL's top playmakers and the best running back in franchise history.
Beginning with the 23-13 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 7, Ware and West would help lead the Chiefs offense to average more than 32 points per game.
Ware's breakout game came on the road against the San Diego Chargers and a day before his 24th birthday.
With West being hampered by a hamstring injury, Ware stepped in to carry the ball 11 times for 96 yards and a couple of touchdowns.
After the game, Ware was quiet, appreciative and reflective as his teammates celebrated their fourth straight victory.
The reflective and indebted nature of Ware wasn't solely saved for his postgame comments against the Chargers. He had routinely sent general manager John Dorsey text messages last season to show his gratitude.
"They didn't have to take a chance," Ware explained. "[The messages] were just thanking the Chiefs and letting them know that I'm going to keep fighting for us. Our season started off pretty bad. I just wanted to let them know, 'You didn't give up on me, so I'm not going to give up you, or this team, or this organization, or this family.'
"I'm going to keep fighting and keep pushing. It was how I genuinely felt."
Not only did Ware keep fighting, but he also helped the Chiefs pull off the greatest in-season turnaround in the history of the franchise.
He finished the season by averaging more than 5.6 yards per carry with 6 touchdowns, chipping in a 16-carry, 67-yard performance with a touchdown in the playoff victory over the Houston Texans.
A look at some of the top photos of Spencer Ware throughout the 2015 season
Over the offseason, Ware was given another opportunity by the Chiefs, who signed him to a multi-year contract extension.
"It means a lot," Ware explained. "They have just blessed me tremendously by having faith in me a couple of times, and where I'm at now, being able to take care of my family and that sort—just holds me more accountable.
"Now they're looking to me to help us get to that promised land. So I have to hold myself more accountable on and off the field. I won't let them or myself down."
Despite the success last year, Ware isn't resting on one good year.
"I'm not content where I'm at and what my goals are to be a premier running back in the NFL," he added. "I still have a lot to prove out there. It just makes it easier that I have them behind my back."