DeMarcus Ware says he turned down a $9 million offer to play football in 2017 with a team he would not name.
That’s what the all-world pass rusher told the MMQB upon his decision to retire after 12 NFL seasons and 138.5 sacks. Ware said his mind and body feel great and that the offer was tempting.
“You go through so much as a player to keep playing — for me lately, the neck injury, the back injury — and then you correct those things,” Ware said.
“And right now as a I stand here, my body feels great. My body feels youthful. There is no question in my mind that I could have played two or three more years. But I’m realistic about it. My body’s good now, but how long will that last? How long can your body hold up at 34, 35, when what you do is likely to hurt yourself?”
The piece is well worth your time and gets into the nuances of playing hurt and what kind of impact the game can have on a 34-year-old man. I immediately came away infinitely more impressed with Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who plans on doing this into his forties.
But I also came away with a similar feeling to the one I had when Peyton Manning retired: It came too soon and I didn’t appreciate it fully while it was happening. Ware was one of the torturous pass rushers of the last decade who brought the position into the spotlight. Even last year, he had the ability to take over games and would have made the perfect complementary piece for a team like Dallas in his final season.
Unfortunately, that’s not in the cards. But following Ware — and seeing his broadcasting work on NFL Network in recent months — this isn’t the last we’ve heard of him.