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Another undrafted free agent quits football because of concussions

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Another day, another story of an undrafted free agent who says he’s going to nip his NFL career in the bud because of concerns about concussions.

On Thursday it was Andrew Sweat, an Ohio State linebacker who signed with the Browns but said he wouldn’t play in the NFL because of the fear of more concussions, and today we have Chad Diehl, a Clemson fullback who signed with the Ravens but says pursuing the NFL isn’t worth the concussion risk.

At rookie mini-camp this past weekend I suffered another concussion,” Diehl wrote on Facebook, via the Spartanburg Herald Journal. “With this concussion happening so soon after the concussion I had in January at the Senior Bowl it left many people concerned including family, doctors, and myself about my health and future if I were to continue playing. With that being said, after having an MRI done, along with multiple tests and a history of quite a few collisions as a fullback, the doctor and I came into agreement that it would be in my best interest for my football career to go ahead and come to an end.”

It’s not clear how Diehl suffered his latest concussion, and it’s also not clear whether Diehl decided to quit football before or after he was waived by the Ravens on Wednesday. Both Diehl and Sweat faced an uphill battle just to make an NFL roster, so them deciding not to pursue an NFL career is a lot different from a highly drafted rookie deciding not to pursue an NFL career.

Still, it’s a sign that the concerns about concussions are a real issue in NFL locker rooms. Two players who were in NFL locker rooms over the weekend have already decided to quit football for good.

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70 Responses to “Another undrafted free agent quits football because of concussions”
  1. zidanevalor says: May 18, 2012 6:57 AM

    It’s pretty important to the story to note that both players have already suffered multiple concussions. So they aren’t quitting football so much out of fear as for the fact that they’ve both already been injured AND they’ve both been injured multiple times in a short period.

  2. joetoronto says: May 18, 2012 6:58 AM

    Wussies, all of them.

  3. bangitfootball says: May 18, 2012 7:01 AM

    Yeah right, if they werent waived theyd be still out there smacking pads. Lawsuit anyone.

  4. spellingcopfather says: May 18, 2012 7:01 AM

    Too much money to just quit!!!

  5. biggiesmallsthecondomfilla says: May 18, 2012 7:02 AM

    This guy should get in on a lawsuit. Future earnings were clearly in jeopardy, at least 50mil.

  6. philwauke says: May 18, 2012 7:02 AM

    This past weekend he realized he didn’t have a chance to make the team.

    There, I fixed it for you.

  7. cornernum23 says: May 18, 2012 7:11 AM

    Uhh… Who cares what an UFA does???

  8. lgbarn says: May 18, 2012 7:14 AM

    joetoronto says: May 18, 2012 6:58 AM

    Wussies, all of them.

    ————————————————————

    Says the guy from the safety of his computer chair with a slurpee in his hand.

    I absolutely love football and would love to have had the opportunity to play for a living but these guys understand that there is more to life than football and they may never be able to enjoy life after football. I takes a lot of courage to do what these guys are doing and I applaud them.

  9. wwwmattcom says: May 18, 2012 7:20 AM

    If concussions aren’t bad, what is a concussion grenade? Some are more prone to injury. Wise decision.

  10. bigwalt2990 says: May 18, 2012 7:21 AM

    Playing pro football is as close as it gets to being a modern day gladiator. Some guys are just scared, and others embrace it…all for the glory. (and money)

  11. cmdrsmooth says: May 18, 2012 7:22 AM

    Good luck kid. This is the argument the NFL should make for their case against the former players suing the league:quit if you have fears of your health. It’s a contact sport, what did you think was going to happen to your body if you played? Sue your parents too for letting you play football when you were a kid instead of studying to become a doctor or lawyer.

  12. mnajb says: May 18, 2012 7:23 AM

    To the PFT community, and all NFL teams:

    I want to make it official to you now, what I have in my heart suspected since the end of my 8th grade season, when I hated the running enough to not continue playing football in highschool. It is really hard for me to say this, but I officially retire from American football.

    To major league soccer:

    I know you haven’t heard anything from me since I played in that church league when I was six, despite any significant interest in soccer or church. But… no this is too hard… Just keep an eye on your mailbox.

  13. longdrive2011 says: May 18, 2012 7:26 AM

    philwauke says:
    “”This past weekend he realized he didn’t have a chance to make the team.
    There, I fixed it for you.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    What’s with the thumbs down on a little sarcasm and a hint of truth. If these guys had signed 4th round million dollar contracts I doubt they would be quitting.

    Your man cards are revoked. There is nothing wrong with being metrosexuals or whatever you are but this is football. You want to eliminate concussions? Ban all contact sports – period, Oh, and be careful in a the shower. A hundred or so receive significant head injuries there each year.

  14. dirtybird28 says: May 18, 2012 7:28 AM

    Being prone to concussions, you can’t blame him/them. It’s not like he’s never had one before and just up and quit from fears. Hell I’m concussion prone so i would’ve considered a similar route if I was in their shoes.

  15. joetoronto says: May 18, 2012 7:29 AM

    lgbarn says: May 18, 2012 7:14 AM

    joetoronto says: May 18, 2012 6:58 AM

    Wussies, all of them.

    ————————————————————

    Says the guy from the safety of his computer chair with a slurpee in his hand.

    I absolutely love football and would love to have had the opportunity to play for a living but these guys understand that there is more to life than football and they may never be able to enjoy life after football. I takes a lot of courage to do what these guys are doing and I applaud them.
    ************************************************
    Applaud them for what, deciding AFTER not getting drafted to quit “because of concussions’?

    You go ahead and buy what they’re selling, not me.

  16. 12strikes says: May 18, 2012 7:30 AM

    Sorry. But I think Undrafted Free agents are not quitting because of concussions, they are quitting because they are undrafted free agents. One of these guys were drafted in the first couple of rounds I would bet that concussions would not be an issue.

  17. castorcf says: May 18, 2012 7:31 AM

    A year ago the headline would read: Browns and Ravens waive UFA’s. The whole concussion thing is reaching a point where it’s the reason anyone does anything in this league. Can’t wait for concussion-mania to subside.

  18. billsfan1 says: May 18, 2012 7:36 AM

    Thank god you quantified this decision by clearing up the notion that he was not a high draft pick.

  19. tlyons4 says: May 18, 2012 7:37 AM

    “You can’t fire me, I quit!”

  20. enochmh2 says: May 18, 2012 7:38 AM

    Man concussions have gone from being overlooked in the past to a slight overreaction recently

  21. mikebe1 says: May 18, 2012 7:38 AM

    The Nfl has to figure a way to prevent these concussions hey guy who called him a wussie why don’t u invent a special helmet while your drinking ur slurpie.

  22. mj1818 says: May 18, 2012 7:43 AM

    Igbarn I couldn’t agree more. The guys that are bashing these players are exactly that, guys behind a computer with a slurpee and a mountain of pizza boxes playing halo on a Friday night with their internet girlfriend. It’s a serious issue for a player who is prone to concussions. Is the risk worth a road as a practice squad dummy to maybe one day having a glimpse of sniffing a field for 5 plays in two years only to have the risk of suffering another concussion? I think it takes more strength to walk away, I also applaud them. Use their brain to land a good job while it’s still a brain, not a bowl of jello.

  23. SilentMajority says: May 18, 2012 7:45 AM

    This isn’t a big deal. We’re talking about people who probably have 4 year degrees, and who probably will never make more than the league minimum.

    In other words, when they weigh the pros and cons, it is much different than when Andrew Luck and RG3 weighed the pros and cons…

  24. prmpft says: May 18, 2012 7:46 AM

    I think “undrafted” has as much to do with this as “concussions”

  25. jimiinpa says: May 18, 2012 7:46 AM

    joetoronto says:May 18, 2012 6:58 AM

    Wussies, all of them

    __________________________________

    this comming from a canadian. imagine that

  26. ken0west says: May 18, 2012 7:47 AM

    Sounds like they quit because they went un-draffted. Has anyone with an actual contract and roster spot “quit” yet?

    How do you even quit something that you are not even a part of yet. It is not a story tell some dude makes a 53 then walks.

  27. deathtoromo says: May 18, 2012 7:48 AM

    So every guy that gets cut now cuz they suck is gonna use this as an out? Gtf outta here.

  28. lostsok says: May 18, 2012 8:00 AM

    No Sweat.

  29. dikshuttle says: May 18, 2012 8:03 AM

    Proably voted for “CHANGE” or “HOPE”, too.

  30. partyboy1114 says: May 18, 2012 8:10 AM

    liberal cry baby.

  31. bullcharger says: May 18, 2012 8:13 AM

    This story barely has anything to do with the NFL. He was hurt in college and possibly prior to that. In football some guys blow out a knee before the NFL and can’t play, some guys wreck their throwing arm and some guys have too many concussions. It’s always been this way. They will never stop concussions. They can be recognized and treated properly and they can can be prevented somewhat with safer hits, but not stopped.

  32. dirtmcgirt413 says: May 18, 2012 8:15 AM

    This backs the idea that it’s an individuals choice to play or not to play. I applaud this kid for doing what he feels is right for him and his future. Player education would put this whole controversy to rest… No? If they are educated further on the possible long term impact of head related injuries and still chose to play…. Let’em play!!!

  33. rudedog36 says: May 18, 2012 8:16 AM

    These guys were never going to make a team anyway. Plain and simple.
    I think they feel its better to say i quit because i didnt want to get concussions, than to get cut. Or worse, not even get a chance to make a team.

  34. lolb23 says: May 18, 2012 8:36 AM

    Until a player voluntarily quits or kills themselves in the prime of his career due to concussions, enough with all the concussion agenda bs.

  35. jetfan28 says: May 18, 2012 8:36 AM

    How can you retire from a career that hadn’t started?

    I’m announcing my retirement from the NFL too.

  36. sj39 says: May 18, 2012 8:36 AM

    Fake “tuff-guy” commenters are wussies. All of them.

  37. tommikula says: May 18, 2012 8:37 AM

    joetoronto says:
    May 18, 2012 6:58 AM
    Wussies, all of them.

    ___________________

    Yeah man you are so hard eating cheese balls on your moms couch in her basement, pressing those buttons making those big hits on Madden.

  38. lolb23 says: May 18, 2012 8:38 AM

    So every guy that gets cut now cuz they suck is gonna use this as an out? Gtf outta here.
    ____________________________________

    How else do you expect them to join the up-coming concussion lawsuit against the NCAA?

  39. lolb23 says: May 18, 2012 8:40 AM

    this coming from a canadian. imagine that
    __________________________________

    Canada, it’s not even a real country anyways.

  40. goat2060 says: May 18, 2012 8:41 AM

    So people that r not good enough to get drafted, not going to have a career in football anyway, decide to do something else and this is news?? Well u better then add my name to the list, yeah that’s the ticket.. I’m quitting football because I’m no good… Er .. I mean because of concussions.. Yeah that’s it.

  41. getyourownname says: May 18, 2012 8:43 AM

    joetoronto says:
    May 18, 2012 6:58 AM
    Wussies, all of them.

    ***************************

    The real tragedy is going through life as a concussed meathead internet tough guy without benefit of having had any actual athletic experience to enjoy.

  42. raidermark says: May 18, 2012 8:44 AM

    Judging by the Thumbs down on this topic, the majority of readers here are wussified too. If concussions were really THAT big of a problem, then 50% plus of past players would have issues. It’s less than 1% were talking about. Mostly money grubbers too. Some crybaby Democrat in Washington is gonna shut down the NFL as we know it if this keeps up.

  43. christopher525 says: May 18, 2012 8:48 AM

    Fullback and linebacker are two positions where concussions are more likely than almost anywhere but offensive or defensive line, and there your knees are in more danger than anything. If you’ve had a history of concussions, especially having just suffered one in January and another now, playing fullback, that’s a bad sign. There comes a point when you must face your own physical limitations and either accept them, or move forward ignoring them. I applaud these two for being smart enough to see this issue. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing, expecting different results.

  44. bigwinintx says: May 18, 2012 9:10 AM

    Sometimes taking a step back is the right step in the right direction.

  45. stairwayto7 says: May 18, 2012 9:16 AM

    How did he get a concussion at rookie camp? I thought they could not be in pads and no contact?

  46. jbaxt says: May 18, 2012 9:34 AM

    I did the same thing. After high school I decided that I didn’t want to risk anything. So I decided to hang it up, never played college ball thus removing my obvious future NFL stardom. In fact I changed my address during high school just so I wouldn’t be tempted with big name school offers. None ever came, coach never told me about the offers either so somehow he knew of my plan as well. Now 15 years later I like being overweight, having a mortgage, and working a 9-5 job. The perfect life.

  47. joetoronto says: May 18, 2012 9:36 AM

    jimiinpa says:
    May 18, 2012 7:46 AM
    joetoronto says:May 18, 2012 6:58 AM

    Wussies, all of them

    __________________________________

    this comming from a canadian. imagine that
    ***************************************************
    Please go ahead and explain yourself, BillyBob.

    This I have to hear.

  48. buddybowl69 says: May 18, 2012 9:38 AM

    Just curious, no sarcasm intended, but how does one get a concussion at a Rookie Training Camp when there is NO pads and NO contact?

  49. ampats says: May 18, 2012 9:50 AM

    I also made a decision that I am not going to play in the NFL because of concussion. That and the fact that at 50 I run a 7.5 40 yard dash

  50. jackblackshairyback says: May 18, 2012 9:51 AM

    Isn’t rookie minicamp non-contact? How did he get a concussion?

  51. junglehawgs says: May 18, 2012 9:52 AM

    Man, it won’t be long before a woman is President. Our society is just getting softer and softer. What a bunch of biscuits.

  52. lolb23 says: May 18, 2012 9:55 AM

    Just curious, no sarcasm intended, but how does one get a concussion at a Rookie Training Camp when there is NO pads and NO contact?
    ___________________________________

    He probably didn’t. He’s probably lying. He had a concussion at the Senior Bowl. But how will he ever join the lawsuit if he doesn’t try and say he suffered another one in the few hours he actually spent in and around the NFL?

  53. ahostiletakeover says: May 18, 2012 10:02 AM

    Everyone should respect these kids’ decisions, but the real question is: How the hell did he get a concussion at the first rookie mini-camp? If I’m not mistakened, its all shorts and minimal contact…

  54. junglehawgs says: May 18, 2012 10:07 AM

    >>>>>>mj1818 says:
    May 18, 2012 7:43 AM
    Igbarn I couldn’t agree more. The guys that are bashing these players are exactly that, guys behind a computer with a slurpee and a mountain of pizza boxes playing halo on a Friday night with their internet girlfriend. It’s a serious issue for a player who is prone to concussions. Is the risk worth a road as a practice squad dummy to maybe one day having a glimpse of sniffing a field for 5 plays in two years only to have the risk of suffering another concussion? I think it takes more strength to walk away, I also applaud them. Use their brain to land a good job while it’s still a brain, not a bowl of jello.<<<<<<

    So why even play High School or College football. The talk of concussions have been around for along time now and the so-called experts don't know much more now than they did 5-10 years ago when it wasn't much of an issue. Why waste your time and efforts or risk your health playing at the lower levels if it is that big of an issue now. Leave pro football to real men.

  55. artvan15 says: May 18, 2012 10:30 AM

    He wasn’t going to make it in the NFL anyway. So lets use concussions as the excuse.

  56. yssupasigninnamnotyep says: May 18, 2012 10:50 AM

    How do you get a concussion in mini-camp? There is no contact allowed. He must have tripped and banged his head on a tackling dummy.

  57. msanab16 says: May 18, 2012 10:54 AM

    Hmm let me think…. Do i want to remember my kids names by the time i’m 50 or not?

    Its a no brainer guys, health, family and life goes above and beyond any job or sport.

  58. scubasteve4930 says: May 18, 2012 11:01 AM

    This whole concussion lawsuit really bothers me. EVERY player knows the risks of persuing a career in the NFL. It is a contact sport..so obviously concussions and other injuries are highly probable. No matter what career you go into, there will be risks. NASCAR drivers know that at any minute their lives can be taken on the track. Baseball players could be hit by a ball and suffer life threatening damages… Etc. Etc. THis lawsuit is complete BS. I applaud the guys who decide to take another path in life after having multiple concussions in a short period of time. You cant blame the NFL for your injuries. Its a part of the game.

    GO BUCS!!!

  59. shackdelrio says: May 18, 2012 11:04 AM

    It seems like concussions will become a convenient excuse for fringe NFL players to explain why they are no longer on a roster instead of the truth. These guys weren’t good enough for the NFL. I am waiting for Donovan McNabb to announce his retirement and cite concussions as the reason.

  60. bpfpft says: May 18, 2012 11:10 AM

    I don’t mean to be insensitive but I see this phenomenon all the time in youth sports when the kids aren’t quite athletic enough or good at the sport their parents are pushing them to play, the convenient excuse is an injury and more often then not recently it’s concussions. I’m in total agreement most here and shackdelrio, this will be the “noble” excuse for fringe NFL players who couldn’t or wouldn’t make the 53 or even the PS.

  61. nflfollower says: May 18, 2012 11:17 AM

    If they were 1st rounders and stood to make some serious cash, they wouldn’t be retiring because of a few concussions. Easy to back out if you have a college degree and can make as much or in fact much more in the real world as you would on the practice squad.

  62. td40 says: May 18, 2012 11:24 AM

    LMAO right now at all the Ravens fans who left comments like “He decided to retire rather than play for the Browns” after the Andrew Sweat article.

    Oops.

  63. joetoronto says: May 18, 2012 11:31 AM

    Get ready to hear this from the wussies commenting here….

    “If we can stop one person from being concussed, it’s worth it.”

  64. walkingtalking1 says: May 18, 2012 11:39 AM

    Sorry to be so nitpicky, but how can you ” Go ahead and let my career come to an end”?

  65. mark0226 says: May 18, 2012 11:41 AM

    @dirtmcgirt413 got it right. This will be used by the NFL to show that playing football is a choice. The player (or any reasonable person) knows (or should know) that the NFL is a contact sport, where injuries (including brain injuries) may occur. Each player in the all of the lawsuits made a decision to play the game and accepted those risks. These players above made the decision not to take those risks.

  66. dawglb says: May 18, 2012 12:46 PM

    Helmets, no pads, no contact,….??? He clearly paid no attention to the yellow sign in the cafeteria that says, “CAUTION! WET FLOOR!”

  67. naanunaanu says: May 18, 2012 2:53 PM

    lgbarn is idiot and so is the Current (209) that agreed with him

    if given the chance to play in the NFL 100% of us would.

    i took Shots and pills to play in HIGH SCHOOL because of the love and the fact that i only had 4 years to play.

    and the Question that everyone is ask? would you do it again ? 100% everybody said yes, even the Bills player everett would.

    thats why i dont blame guys like Farve, Mcnabb that arent ready to “hang it up ” cause once you do it is OVER .

    Shut up Tards the UFA can’t hack it just like us, time to sign then up a PFT screen name…….

    Steelers suck in 2012

  68. jeziyo247 says: May 18, 2012 3:33 PM

    Big money is not worth suffering long term illness, though its hard to say goodbye to something you love to do. Money means nothing when you’re dead, these guys are smart to leave the game if they’ve done it for the reasons noted, they don’t need the nfl to get wealthy, theres more opportunities out there for ones to succeed

  69. daysend564 says: May 18, 2012 8:00 PM

    It is important to note, neither of the two players would have been on the active roster. Correct, it makes sense to not pursue a NFL career if you are going to be stuck on the practice squad making $50k to get the crap beat out of you daily.

  70. sullivdr says: May 20, 2012 3:53 AM

    Another undrafted free agent quits………..because he has zero chance of making the time yet somehow still wants to make headlines

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