Retired from the NFL, Tom Zbikowski to become a firefighter


After five seasons in the NFL with the Ravens and Colts, safety Tom Zbikowski decided to call it a career when the Bears cut him in training camp this season. And he’s already got his post-NFL career picked out: He wants to be a firefighter.

Zbikowski told David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune that he plans to enroll at the Chicago Fire Department training academy next month. Zbikowski wasn’t particularly highly paid by NFL standards, but he has made a lot more money than the vast majority of people make by age 28, and he said he decided to find a job where helping people was the top priority and money is secondary.

“I’ve had an extremely blessed life and I saved three-quarters of my money, so I can do whatever I want and I want to be of service to a community,’’ Zbikowski said. “Firemen show up in scary situations. They’re symbols of pride, of faith, of what’s good in society. I like to live dangerously.’’

Zbikowski is an avid boxer who won three professional fights during the 2011 NFL lockout, but he sounds like he’s done competing in both sports, and ready to start the next phase in his life.