Former quarterback Archie Manning recently said that, nowadays, not many quarterbacks spend 17 or 18 years in the NFL.
Count Mark Brunell among the not many.
After 19 years of pro football, including three Pro Bowls in the late 1990s, Brunell is moving toward retirement, according to Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union, who explains that “barring something unforeseen,” Brunell will call it quits.
“Most guys that have trouble leaving the game are in their 20s,” Brunell said. “I’ve been preparing for football to be over with for quite some time.”
Those preparations were more emotional than financial. Brunell filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010, despite career earnings of more than $50 million.
Brunell, who now lives in Jacksonville after his stint as the greatest quarterback in franchise history, lost his spot behind Jets starter Mark Sanchez after the team traded for Jacksonville native Tim Tebow.
“Tim [Tebow] and Mark [Sanchez] are going to work well together, I think they complement each other very well,” Brunell said. “Tim is going to be a great teammate. You can’t have enough Tim Tebows on your roster.”
We’ll see how good of a teammate Tebow is once Sanchez wipes a booger on his coat.
UPDATE 10:17 a.m. ET: Brunell claims on his unverified Twitter page that he’s not retiring.