It’s not worth it: NFL players walking away from millions


MGN Online

Cecil Grubbs and Cecil Grubbs

The recent trend of NFL players retiring at an early age hasn’t gone unnoticed at Robert Morris University.

New York Times contributor Ken Belson reports that it has been a truly unprecedented offseason in terms of players calling it quits at a young age. Notable retirees include San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland, 24, Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker, 26, and Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds, 27. As a result, there were plenty of topics for RMU students and faculty to discuss.

“I think it’s kind of shocking. I don’t understand why,” said Sheldon Clayton, a junior software engineer. “I wouldn’t quit if I was in the NFL.”

Players, especially linebackers, may be looking at past experiences from others to determine their course of action.

According to David Synowka, Ph.D., former NFL linebacker Junior Seau’s diagnosis of Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy (CTE) has been a wake up call for current players. Seau committed suicide in May of 2012 and was found to have the disease in January of 2013.

“I think they’re starting to realize the long term consequences of engaging in a hazardous occupation,” said Synowka.

RMU’s department head of sports management also mentioned that players have the ability to take advantage of their fame and wealth to “move in to other career opportunities.”

Senior Brandon Sachs, a mid-level education major, was quick to defend Worilds’ decision to elect against testing the free agent market. Sachs was of the opinion that Worilds “didn’t want to play football anymore,” and he felt that the ex-Steeler should not be ridiculed for that choice.

Sachs did feel that Borland, who retired after just one season with the 49ers, should have restructured his deal with the team. “I feel that was bad for the team and his teammates that he retired after one year,” said Sachs.

Freshman Brian Mentzer, a finance major, said that players should be allowed to decide for themselves regarding their careers.

“As long as they have a good reason to, I think they should do whatever they want,” said Mentzer. “As long as they’re following their passions, it really does not matter what they do.”