Posted November 06, 2013

Broncos guard John Moffitt retires at age 27: ‘It’s madness to risk your body’

NFL
Broncos guard John Moffitt (center) said he's looking forward to producing podcasts and spending time with family now that he's announced his retirement. (John Leyba/Getty Images)

Broncos guard John Moffitt (center) said he’s looking forward to producing podcasts and spending time with family. (John Leyba/Getty Images)

Denver Broncos offensive guard John Moffitt called team officials this week to notify them that he’s not coming back and is retiring from the league altogether because he’s not happy and doesn’t want to continue risking his body.

The third-year guard out of Wisconsin called the team from his home in Seattle and said he’s not planning on returning to the organization when the Broncos come back from their bye week to play the Chargers in San Diego on Nov. 10, according to the Associated Press. 

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Moffitt told the AP that he knows everyone thinks he’s crazy, but he now thinks that playing in the NFL is crazy. The 27-year-old said he doesn’t care about the Super Bowl anymore and that the experience of playing in the NFL has been enough, adding that he doesn’t need to be a millionaire:

“I just really thought about it and decided I’m not happy. I’m not happy at all. And I think it’s really madness to risk your body, risk your well-being and risk your happiness for money. Everybody, they just don’t get it and they think it’s crazy. But I think what I was doing is crazy…I don’t care about the Super Bowl. I don’t. I used to. I mean, anytime I played this game, I gave my heart to it and I’m a person that does things 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… 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.”

Before taxes, he made approximately $1.8 million in his 2.5 years in the NFL. He was selected 75th overall by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2011 draft and signed a four-year deal worth nearly $3 million. This past August, he was set to be traded to the Cleveland Browns, but according to Jeff Schudel of The Morning Journal, Moffitt failed his physical and the trade was rescinded. That same month, the Seahawks ended up trading him to the Broncos for defensive tackle Sealver Siliga. By announcing his retirement, Moffitt leaves more than $1 million on the table; approximately $312,500 of it is for the rest of this current season and another $752,000 would have come from his non-guaranteed salary in 2014.

He told the AP that his world views have changed significantly over the past few years after reading literature from the Dalai Lama and Noam Chomsky. Looking ahead to his post-NFL career, he said he’s excited to spend time with his girlfriend and his family, including his 5-year-old daughter. He also wants to produce live radio shows and podcasts and go on a diet now that he doesn’t have to maintain a body weight of approximately 319 pounds. 

The Broncos had put Moffitt on their reserve/left team list on Tuesday and now have five days to formally release him.

“I just want to be happy. And I find that people that have the least in life are sometimes the happiest. And I don’t have the least in life. I have enough in life. And I won’t sacrifice my health for that.”

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28 comments
JerryDyer
JerryDyer

Why would anyone consider this man to be flawed. Greed is a real flaw.

MrArlington
MrArlington

A guy his age knew darn well long before this year the dangers of football. Guys like him have other flaws that cause them to prematurely retire.

FRED S
FRED S

I use to think that a player that would leave football at such a young age was crazy ,but after reading 

League of Denial ,The NFL ,CONCUSSIONS ,and the battle for truth I now have a a much different feeling 

about the NFL how they treat their past players ..They really got of easy just paying seven hundred million 

to  all the players and their love ones who lives have become living hell

MarkCalasade
MarkCalasade

Admirable and wise. I wish him all the luck in the world.

LeonardoZapata
LeonardoZapata

american football will be going the way of the dodo

DanielClifton
DanielClifton

I am impressed by this guy.  I love pro football.  I have watched it for dare I say it, 53 years.  I have also perceived the toll it takes on the guys who play it.  Clearly the people who play pro football have their lives shortened and also at times destroyed by the rigors of the physical nature of the pro football game.  Good luck to John Moffit.  

M20
M20

Good for him. I wish him well in all he does!

UnishowponyWherebeef
UnishowponyWherebeef

"Before taxes, he made approximately $1.8 million in his 2.5 years in the NFL"

After taxes, he made approximately $1.1 million, which is the equivalent of 28 years full time work for an average American employee.

SpencerJ
SpencerJ

Cue the comments from the tough guys from their couches.....

JoePeterson2
JoePeterson2

Understandable decision though being affected so profoundly by the Dalai Lama and Noam Chomsky might raise a few eyebrows..... Oops sorry he is from New England ....lol

James C
James C

I personally have no problem with this decision. I have seen too many people stay in dangerous professions well beyond their time and it has hurt them and their legacy. 

The list is long of people who stayed way beyond when it was "time". The list is very short of those who left when they knew it was time. 


The few I can think of that left when they knew it was time were Barry Sanders (although I think he left for reasons other than his future health), Sandy Kofax and now John Moffit. Kofax could have played many more years of baseball, but at this point of his life, he likely would have limited use of his arm because of the toll pitching took on his elbow. (If he played today, he would have had Tommy John surgery and be back pitching). 


I'm sure others have left when they knew it was time, but the list is still short. 



AlanTompas
AlanTompas

Very few people can tolerate the physical demands of the NFL..the money is great but the toll is brutal. Takes a lot of guts to walk away.

ITATTRACTS
ITATTRACTS

Good for him. Takes a big man to realize that despite "living the dream", things aren't right within his heart. Having the courage to say "enough" is rare trait. 

Johnnystop
Johnnystop

Thanks John and good luck to you!  

jj55
jj55

He's inspired by that self-righteous clown Noam Chomsky?

Concussion-related brain damage claims another victim.

Holden
Holden

Never heard of him...

Bigwhazoo
Bigwhazoo

Live radio shows eh? Podcast?  Keep that help wanted section of the paper handy and current.

jbc123
jbc123

Now that's what I call an 'off week'. Good luck to ya' kid, you're gonna' need it.

el80ne
el80ne

@James C You forgot to mention Robert Smith. His justification was precisely because of health issues.

ITATTRACTS
ITATTRACTS

@jj55 He's inspired by wanting to live a decent life 20-30 years from now. Yeah, he MUST be really stupid right? 

AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel

@Bigwhazoo lots of people want NFL/football analysts - former players who can speak intelligently and well on camera/radio are always desirable

hes got  $1.1 million in the bank - if he plays his cards right , he'll do just fine

AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel

@jbc123  yeah cause retiring with 1.1 million in the bank at age 27 is a rough start to life LOL

SpencerJ
SpencerJ

@jbc123 Yeah I mean he has millions of dollars, his health, an education, and his sanity... he's gonna need lots of "luck" really. What an asinine statement.

ITATTRACTS
ITATTRACTS

@jbc123 why say it like that? "you're gonna need it"…you don't know him or his collegiate resume, he will probably land a good job and be happy.