John Moffitt says he simply wasn’t happy in football


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.

31 responses to “John Moffitt says he simply wasn’t happy in football

  1. I hope this is what he really wants, because as some of you may remember from the very first Hard Knocks with the Ravens, the one guy left the team saying he didn’t love football anymore and a few weeks later he wanted to come back. When that happens the team doesn’t trust you not to do it again, and that is the same thought that the rest of the league will have.

    I hope he saved his money. I hope he got his degree, because spending time with your family and not being able to provide for them is tougher on your family than being away from them. We live in times where college graduates are working at McDonalds or trying to work there because work in sparse elsewhere. $40k, $50k and higher jobs are hard to find.

    This may be why the Seahawks were trying to trade him to the Browns earlier in the summer. Luckily for us he failed a physical and the trade was rescinded and he was traded to the Broncos instead. I wish him luck, but it’s cold out here. I hope he remembered to wear his coat.

  2. So…this guy will probably get a pass but Jonathan Martin won’t? Where are all the NFL personnel hating on this guy? This isn’t the first, or last time, a guy has quit football for this and didn’t get raked over the coals. The hypocrisy of the players is going to be in full view because of this.

  3. Good for him to walk away. Nothing worse than being at a job you hate.


    I have 2 relatives (by marriage) who were 1st round picks who played more than 10 years. Both were considered busts but wouldn’t have been had they been 4th round picks.

    They both hated football from college on. But they endured. I mean HATED it. Neither would even talk about anything football related.

    They get so much more money today, that a guy only needs to endure a few years.

    I bet Moffit HATED it from college on.

  4. I get everything he is trying to say and I was with him right up until he talked about how people wouldn’t understand that what he does is hard work and time away from your family. Wait….what? Does he have no concept of what it’s like for the millions of blue collar workers in this country who’s jobs are just as hard (if not harder) as his, that put in just as much time as his (if not more) and who’s pay per year is DWARFED by his? I see guys all the time that make good money, but have to sacrifice so much just so their family can get by. I don’t wanna compare blue collar salary to NFL player salary because it’s not a fair comparison. Football is an entertainment Industry so therefore they have a different wage scale. I understand that. Just don’t look down your nose at the rest of us who’ve ALSO had to sacrifice to achieve our goals. Good luck, Mr Moffitt.

  5. During the season very little contact in practice, no danger there.
    Why not ride the bench/be inactive for a couple of months and have a chance for a ring?
    Riding bench/being inactive is not dangerous….its an easy paycheck.
    Something else is going on here…

  6. he seems to be in a good place mentally and financially.. based upon what we’ve learned about the league in that department, followed by the divorce rate, and him repeatedly mentioning families, who’s to assume that it’s not possibly a very smart move? good luck to him.

  7. It’s what happens when you stop and think about your family and other important aspects of a short life we have…

    It’s cliche to say “he wants too follow his heart”…

    Their is more to life than all those things he’s giving up they are just vanity anyway!

  8. Being a U of Wisconsin grad, Moffitt will have no need to use his head with a helmet on. John will excel in anything he does! Good luck John

  9. “It’s hard work.” Well, that pretty much describes all jobs in the real world. Also, he might keep in mind that after spending quality time with his family, part of his responsibilities will be helping to SUPPORT that family. I certainly hope now that he is ready to go to work, that there is actually some employable skill in his bag of tricks, because his days of being paid Monopoly-money salaries to play a game are over. Real life is no game big guy.

  10. My guess is majority of other players understand his decision. With rare exception, these guys have been doing this since 6th grade or earlier. Dad pushed them to play. Probably like it first couple years and then it became grueling. Most other players (especially non-stars) have probably thought it isn’t worth the pain & effort. They know it will come to an end at some point. Might as well get on with their non-football career.

  11. More power to Moffitt – he, and all of us, are at least afforded the right to choose what path we think is best.

    That stated, if he could have grinded it out for another 15 months – he’d have pocketed about $1,000,000.00.

    On top of that, he has the best WRs in the NFL and quite possibly the best QB – Denver is primed to make a big run. So in addition to bypassing a million dollars for 15 months of sacrifice — he also may have picked up some hardware/ring candy (and that never loses its lustre).

    Moffitt must really *hate* football – because those opportunities don’t present themselves but only in the rarest of circumstances.

  12. The difference between Moffitt and Martin is honesty. Moffitt made a decision based on how things are but Martin made a decision based on how he thought things should be. Also Moffitt walked away from everything but Martin only walked away from his responsibilities. Big differences.

  13. He seems certain of his choice, which is fine.
    But my advice is — lose the scraggly hair and the gut if you want respect in the professional world.

  14. I’m not sure what the big deal is, or why some people react so negatively to his decision. Yes, he had a job where he earned a bunch of money. Yes, he wasn’t actually playing much. But he hated it, so he chose to make a change. There are millions of people in the real world who leave high paying jobs because they are unhappy. My wife is a good example. She was the director of emergency medical services for a fire department, making $90,000/ year. But she was miserable working Mon-fri at a desk job. Previously, she was a paramedic for over 25 years. She missed being out in the field. After we talked about it she quit this job, went to the firefighter academy, then returned to the field as a firefighter/paramedic. She started out making $40,000 and is now up to $50,000. Did we miss the extra money? Hell yes! It was really hard in the beginning. We had to change our spending habits, but it is SO worth it!! Seeing her happy again makes me happy. She used to dread going to work 5 days a week. Now she wakes up and is eager to go in for her shifts. My point is that people make the same decision he did every single day. What he did may be on a bigger scale than alot of us, but it’s the same concept….Leaving a high paying job in exchange for happiness. Life is too short to stay at a job you hate. Ultimately, it is HIS life. Who are we to decide what he should/should not have done? I wish him the best.

  15. milkcan, that exactly whats wrong with today’s world. People that are not competent just try to look the part. Looks don’t get the job done.

  16. Good move to leave and solidify ties with family. He would probably make money over the next few years at the expense of his family. Money means nothing if the government takes 30% and then the wife takes half in a divorce settlement. Meanwhile your body is broke down with no support system. Life is too short.

  17. broncosaddict says: Nov 6, 2013 8:51 AM

    During the season very little contact in practice, no danger there.
    Why not ride the bench/be inactive for a couple of months and have a chance for a ring?
    Riding bench/being inactive is not dangerous….its an easy paycheck.
    Something else is going on here…
    You’re reading way to much into this.

    Quality of life is more important than the quality of the paycheck.

    My wife’s best friend went through a similar epiphany. She was making a solid 6 figures, but saw her kids Monday – Friday only when they were sleeping. 75+ hours a week will do that.

    She went for a career change, lost about a 1/3 of her salary, but she gets to take her kids to school, and help with homework.

    For some people quality of life is more important than a six or seven figure paycheck.

  18. Good for John. Contrary to what most people think, money isn’t everything (even though that’s what we’re taught from birth). Also, just because you’re miserable in your job and keep going back doesn’t mean everyone else has to do the same.

  19. I assume John also calculated this out. He has three credited seasons in the NFL, which makes him eligible for the player pension benefit. A player has to be on a active roster for at least three games to get credit for a full season. Based on the current CBA, he will be eligible for a partial pension at 45. At age 55, based on his service, the full pension will pay him about $19,000 per year. If he waits until age 65, it jumps to $49,000 per year based on the current CBA.

  20. got paid and left. so he can now live comfortable with few 100 thousand dollars and still have his brain and b ody in tact..even tho he wont touch millions im sure itll get him through life and looks great on a resume when looking for a good job.

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