Ali Marpet says physical toll of football led him to retire at age 28

Green Bay Packers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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After seven years with the Buccaneers, guard Ali Marpet retired from the NFL this offseason at the age of just 28. He says his primary concern was taking care of his body.

“The biggest reason for me was the physical toll: I didn’t want any more of that. There were some things I wanted to accomplish in my career that I had done,” Marpet told the Guardian. “I loved playing football. But one of my strongest values is health and if I’m really going to live out what’s important to me it doesn’t make sense to keep playing. There are also the unknowns of the head trauma of the NFL and how that plays out. Plus, your joints, the aches and pains that come with surgeries and all that stuff.”

Marpet said that having to carry the weight that every NFL offensive lineman has to carry resulted in him developing sleep apnea and hypertension.

“I was eating as clean as possible for a 300-pounder but having all the weight on your body is bad,” he said.

Now Marpet, who made about $37 million in his NFL career, is ready for a healthier next phase of his life.

22 responses to “Ali Marpet says physical toll of football led him to retire at age 28

  1. Good for him, too many players sacrifice their bodies and suffer for it in their older years. For us fans there is always another class coming behind them.

  2. Smart and wise. He’s right, he’s family will appreciate his decision when he’s older. Small school kid who did it right. Congrats.

  3. Clearly he’s banked enough cash. I might have stuck it out for another few years since you’re never seeing this kind of money again. But to each his own.

  4. Good for him. Superbowl ring and 25+M in the bank? Set for life. Why not escape with most of your health? Football is brutal on the body. I wake up every morning being reminded of that, and I didn’t play in the pros. Smart man. Have a good life.

  5. Great for him! Unfortunately, for every one of these cases there are many more players who leave the game not on their terms and unhealthy.

  6. Offensive linemen have it the worst, having to maintain all that weight and strength for so many years. WR’a get to stay light and in shape their whole lives. Look at TO.

  7. You can’t understate how smart a move this is, more players should take note and get out early. If you can’t make it on a measly $37 million then, by all means, stay in the game.

  8. Hopefully he has saved and invested well, and now can do whatever he wants with the rest of his life.

  9. It’s hard when you’re in your 20s and making big bucks to have that lifelong perspective. Good for Marpet to realize he has a lot of years ahead of him and his health should be his biggest priority.

  10. Lets see… play a few more years in relative obscurity which no one will remember who you were and not be able to pick up your grand kids in 10 years. Or retire now, live your life in relative obscurity and get to play with said grand kids. … Kind of an easy choice…..

  11. Smart move. Now concider all those players in the USFL and other alternative leagues playing for what is really just chump change. What will they have to compensate for the damage being done to them? They’ll be tossed aside, broken, broke and on their own. If any other industry had that level of injuries,both short term and long term, OSHA would step in and level huge fines against the owners and mandate new levels of safety standards. NFL minimum salary just might barely be adequate compensation and that’s more than five times what the alternate league players get. All the profits going to the owners.

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