Retiring In Your Prime

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We’ve seen this before. Whether it was Barry Sanders retiring just before the 1999 season when he was only 30 years old. Charles Johnson retiring before the 2016 season when he was also just 30 years old. Even Jim Brown retired when he was 29 years old before the 1966 season. Now Andrew Luck has retired at the age of 29 before the start of the 2019 season.

Now the football world is wondering why would a guy retire in the prime of their career? He gave you his reason and that was his health. He missed the entire season in 2017 due to a shoulder injury that affected a nerve ending. When you don’t have feeling in your arm, it can be quite frightening. Going into training camp this year he was dealing with a calf injury that then turned into a high ankle sprain according to Colts officials and Luck himself during his press conference.

I for one am not shocked that a football player has retired this soon into their career. The only shock I have is that it’s the position this particular player plays; quarterback. This is a position that is very demanding mentally, but also physically. You take a beating, even though the rules are catered to you having a 15-20 year career, be it Tom Brady or Drew Brees just to name a few.

Just a quick side note. I wrote about another player retiring right after his rookie season on March 17, 2015. It was Chris Borland of the San Francisco 49ers. He had an outstanding rookie year and yet decided to walk away for the same reason Andrew Luck is. For most folks at that time it was shocking, but not for me.

I don’t think any less of a player if they decide to walk away after one year or ten years into their career. They can do as they please and if there is anything to criticize Luck in this regard it is the timing of his retirement.

The Indianapolis Colts season will be effected by this announcement. Will they be the worst team in football without him? No, I don’t believe they will.

Right after letting Peyton Manning leave as a free agent, they were able to draft his replacement right away. You won’t get that opportunity this time around with Luck’s retirement, but the franchise is in a better spot than they were in 2012 when they drafted Luck.

Andrew Luck was in line to be one of the best quarterbacks in the league going into this season. What will now be his final season in 2018, it was certainly one of his best having 39 touchdown passes and almost 4,600 yards passing.

The football pundits will criticize him and make comparisons to others of years past, but we don’t know what Andrew Luck was going through. He knows himself better than anyone and this was his call.

My impression of him was that he was one of the best competitors of his generation and you could never count the Colts out of a game with him at quarterback. I would have loved to have seen him play another 5-10 years, but he decided that he was done playing and that’s okay with me and it should be for you too.

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