For many, if not most players, playing in the NFL represents a dream come true, reaching the pinnacle of a lifetime of work.
Former Broncos guard John Moffitt, who walked away from the game at 27, said he simply didn’t enjoy the game any longer.
“I just really thought about it and decided I’m not happy. I’m not happy at all,” Moffitt told Arnie Stapleton of the Associated Press. “And I think it’s really madness to risk your body, risk your well-being and risk your happiness for money.
“Everybody, they just don’t get it and they think it’s crazy. But I think what I was doing is crazy.”
Moffitt wasn’t playing much for the Broncos, but he said that didn’t have anything to do with his decision. Neither did the $312,000 in salary for the rest of this season and more than $700,000 next year he was owed under his contract. Neither did the fact that he could have ridden a bench for another two months and possibly won a Super Bowl ring. Not when he wasn’t able to spend enough time with those he loved, and risked his health.
“Once you tear away all the illusions of it, it’s hard work,” he said. “And it’s dangerous work. And you’re away from your family. And it’s not good for families. It’s very tough on families.
“I’m ready to go to work and start doing other things right now. So, it’s a smoother transition and I’m still young enough to start a career and my body’s healthy and I’m good. I look at it as a great start to life, you know?”
While many won’t understand his decision, his willingness to follow his heart and pursue happiness is admirable, whatever path it takes.