NFL Players Are Smartening Up
10 Mar 2015
Good for you, Patrick. Good for you, MJD. In the past week we have seen two All-Pro players retire from the NFL before it was too late.
Patrick Willis announced yesterday that he was calling it quits at the age of 30 on the heels of last week’s announcement that Maurice Jones -Drew threw in the towel at 29. Both of these men understood how vicious football has become and knew father time was going to be catching up with them sooner rather than later. Does it make it easier to retire early when both players are financially secure? Obviously. But, sometimes all the money in the world does not make someone leave their passion. Willis is the epitome of “1 in a million” due to his upbringing. He is unique in that he understands there is life after football.
With Jones-Drew, this decision was pretty easy. He’s made his money, shown the world his talents and has taken the beating that so many running backs have endured. At the age of 29, MJD is considered ancient in the world of RBs. The league has figured out how easy it is to find a reliable running back (except for the Colts). Why pay a veteran running back $5 million a year over 3 years when you can pay a rookie a total of $1.5 million over the same length and get similar production? Whether he retired because no one wanted him or just ’cause he was tired, all anyone should do is tip their hat to a man who played the game the right way.
I’m being pretty hopeful here, but one can dream that this trend will become the norm. Why play into your 30’s so you can be immobile in your 50’s? Football is a sport that I love. However, it’s a sport that probably should not be around for too much longer. No new helmets or safer tackling drills are going to stop injuries. Players need to smarten up, make their money and run.
Let me know your thoughts: @Michael_A_Fine