In late August, Texans tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz signed a three-year, $21.5 million contract. Now, he may be walking away from the final two seasons of the deal.
Fiedorowicz acknowledged over the weekend that he’s thinking about retiring, after suffering three concussions in 2017.
“A dude knocked me out,” Fiedorowicz said of the Week One concussion that put him on injured reserve, via Joe Stevenson of the Northwest (Ill.) Herald. “After eight weeks, when I came back, it was constantly on my mind. I wasn’t always able to play loose and free. It was in my head. Anytime that’s on your mind while you’re playing an NFL football game, you’re in trouble. You can’t play timid. Guys are trying to take your head off, you know?”
Fiedorowicz suffered two more concussions over the balance of the season.
“You can’t go repair your brain,” Fiedorowicz said. “It’s not like an ACL or shoulder. That’s serious. I took some dingers. There was a couple of weeks there where I was having some tough times. This is what I’ve done my whole life, so to think that I’m going to walk away is tough. It’s not something that I thought of doing, because I signed the new deal, anytime soon. Life goes on, whatever happens.”
When a report emerged in December that he may retire due to the concussions, Fiedorowicz’s agent said he wants to play, and that it’s too early to make any decisions about his future.
Because Fiedorowicz did not receive a signing bonus, he’d owe the Texans nothing if he retires. His $5 million base salary for 2018 is fully guaranteed, but per the Houston Chronicle it can be reduced to $2.8 million if he’s unable to play due to concussions.