A professional football player says he walked away from the NFL, leaving more than $1 million on the table, after studying the works of Noam Chomsky and the Dalai Lama.
John Moffitt called the Denver Broncos last week from his Seattle home to say he wouldn’t be returning from a scheduled week off for the team because he’d lost his love for football and was no longer willing to risk his health.
The third-year offensive guard announced his retirement on Twitter with a shot at the NFL commissioner, who’s drawn criticism for inconsistent messages and policies on player health – particularly with regard to concussions.
“Football was fun but my head hurts-haha kidding roger goodell. I’m on to new things, thanks to everyone along the way!!!” Moffitt posted.
The 27-year-old Moffitt, who signed a four-year contract worth nearly $3 million after he was drafted out of Wisconsin in 2011, will give up more than $312,000 for the remainder of this season and more than $750,000 in non-guaranteed salary next year.
“I’ve saved enough. It’s not like I’m sitting here and I’m a millionaire,” Moffitt said. “That’s what I kind of realized. I’m sitting here and I got to this point and I was like, what is the number that you need? How much do you really need? What do you want in life? And I decided that I don’t really need to be a millionaire.”
Moffitt was traded in August from Seattle to Denver, which is considered a Super Bowl contender with an 8-1 record and quarterback Peyton Manning enjoying one of the best seasons of his stellar career.
“I don’t care about the Super Bowl. I don’t,” Moffitt said. “I used to. I mean, anytime I played this game, I gave my heart to it and I’m a person that does thing with his heart. … I don’t need the Super Bowl experience. I played in great stadiums and I played against great players. And I had that experience and it’s enough.”
Moffitt said he began studying the writings of Chomsky, the influential linguist and political philosopher, and the head of Tibbetan Buddhism while studying sociology at the University of Wisconsin.
“I just really thought about it and decided I’m not happy,” Moffit said. “I’m not happy, and I think it’s really madness to risk your body, risk your well-being and risk your happiness, for money.”
Moffitt said he planned to spend more time with his father and 5-year-old daughter, and he also intends to diet to shed some of his 319-pound playing weight.
He also said he hopes to record podcasts and possibly work in broadcasting.
“Everybody, they just don’t get it and they think it’s crazy,” he said. “But I think what I was doing is crazy.”
Watch this interview with John Moffitt posted online by The Dan Patrick Show:
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