Myles Garrett, 24, has played 37 games in three seasons. He nearly considered that the end.
The Browns defensive end said he contemplated quitting football after clubbing Mason Rudolph over the head with the quarterback’s helmet. The NFL indefinitely suspended Garrett but reinstated him after he sat out six games to end the 2019 season.
“I did [consider quitting],” Garrett told Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. “Whether it was because of their decision or my decision, it was whether this was going to continue.”
Garrett questioned everything after he lost his cool the night of Nov. 14, and his world came crashing down around him.
“What was I going to do [without football]?” Garrett said. “What was I going to be? Who am I at the end of the day? Was I still going to be giving without football, without that kind of income coming in? Was I still going to take those trips to see people? Was I still going to give back to charities? Was I still going to give clothing and shoes to schools around me, to coaches that have impacted me?
“All of these things were on my mind.”
He didn’t quit, though. Garrett signed a five-year extension worth $125 million that made him the highest-paid defender in the NFL for two weeks until Joey Bosa signed his deal.
Garrett will return to the field Sunday for the first time since his meltdown.
“I would’ve been OK,” Garrett said of quitting football. “I love football. I love competing. I love my teammates, and I definitely want to win. But at the end of the day, I’m still a guy. I’m still a young man who has a lot of life to live and my life is much more than football. I just would’ve moved onto something else I enjoy and found another way to save my competitive nature, whether it would’ve been trying out for a basketball team or going to play baseball like [Michael] Jordan.
“I would’ve found something else I love to do, whether I was a writing coach or whatever. I would’ve left with my head held high, and I wouldn’t have looked back.”