“Retirement” becoming the new strategy for avoiding suspensions


Retirement has become the latest trend for troubled NFL players who face the wrath of Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The latest player to exercise the NFL equivalent of quitting in lieu of being fired is Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent.  As pointed out earlier in the afternoon by Gantt, Brent will call it a career in lieu of having the league office sideline him for a year, or longer.

“This is the right decision for me, and something that I have given a lot of thought to,” Brent said in a statement provided to PFT.  “I am at a point where my main focus is all about getting the priorities in my life in order.  Those priorities are more important than football.  Doing the right things in life are more important than football.  I love the game very much.  I love my teammates, but this is the right thing for me to do.”

It’s the right thing to do, because it’s the smart thing to do.  Goodell never would have let Brent play this year, especially with charges of intoxication manslaughter pending.  And if/when Brent pleaded guilty to or was convicted of the charge, Brent would have been suspended for at least a full year.

So Brent, who finds himself in a situation over which he has no control, exercised the only sliver of it that he has, choosing to end his career (at least for now) in order to prevent someone else from ending it for him.

Ravens linebacker Rolando McClain opted for that path earlier this year following his latest off-field incident, and the Patriots gave defensive lineman Kyle Love the chance to do the same, after he was diagnosed with diabetes.  Before the Patriots abruptly cut tight end Aaron Hernandez, some wondered whether he would also “retire” while dealing with his legal situation.

Depending on the outcome of the looming trial (and the extent of any prison sentence), Brent can unretire at some point in the future, presumably with the quiet, back-room blessing of the league.  And the Cowboys at that point will still hold his rights.

As the NFL and those who follow it come to grips with the reality that the arrest rate never will fall to zero, the retirement rate for guys who otherwise wouldn’t be retiring will continue to go up.

25 responses to ““Retirement” becoming the new strategy for avoiding suspensions

  1. “Doing the right things in life are more important than football,” Brent said, as he paused momentarily from sucking on his bong. He then offered to drive this reporter to the strip club located in downtown Vegas.

  2. How are they avoiding suspension, won’t they still be subject to suspension when and if they decide to un-retire?

  3. Good lord. The man is sad. He is responsible for the death of a good friend and is clearly having trouble coping with it. The Cowboys kept him on the roster because they are and have been his support system through this. Brown’s mother forgave him…is that not enough? Must we continue to crucify someone who is going through a terrible time? Yes, it is his fault. I don’t remember Stallworth or others being hammered like this. Let the man live and don’t bag the organization for being a pillar in his currently discombobulated life.

  4. This is sad that a man is retiring trying to get his life together. He can still be suspended if he comes back so the media need to stop writing there opinion on somethings.

  5. Rick Spielman is a Magician says:
    Jul 18, 2013 3:35 PM

    I don’t see what he gains by retiring. If he comes back, Goodell can still suspend him.

    Possibly NFL Pension is the reason, time served etc. I’m not a Financial Advisor but I did stay at a Holiday Inn.

  6. the answer to the why retire now is simple due to the fact that the cowboys retain the rights to him he needs to do whats right if he ever is able to come back. from what I hear the cowboys don’t suffer the cap hit because he retired, he scratches the cowboys back maybe they will later scratch his we shall see

  7. This article makes no sense. If he wants to play ASAP, get the legal ruling as soon as possible. Then the NFL suspension will be immediate, and the league suspension will be concurrent with the practical unavailability to play.

    This way, he’s serving a self-imposed suspension until he “un-retires” and then the NFL suspension starts.

    More likely the real reason is he doesn’t want his court case prejudiced by an NFL suspension. Maybe that is at least a smart reason.

  8. For some inexplicable reason, Dallas wouldn’t cut him, so I am glad he decided to retire. I was ok with Dallas standing by him after the incident, but when he failed, not one, but two drug tests, he needed to be cut. He obviously does not get it and should have been cut.

    I do hope he gets the important things in life in order, but at last, good riddance.

  9. If “retirement” is now the new latest and greatest strategy for players to take to avoid punishment and still get a retirement …..

    That makes players like Andre “Bad Moon” Rison and former Jaguars Jimmy Smith trend setters.

    To think this is new means that you have not really been paying attention.

  10. charger383 says:
    Jul 18, 2013 6:43 PM
    I would like to see Goodell retire
    Ya, the players don’t need Goodell’s heavy hand, they can handle themselves just fine.

    My God man, SMH.

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