Wednesday, May 15, 2013

David Garrard and Rolando McClain Call it a Career For Totally Different Reasons

Wednesday saw two players call a end to their careers, New York Jets quarterback David Garrard and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Rolando McClain. While the end of their respective careers had to share the headlines, the reason for the end could not be more different.

For the 35-year old Garrard the decision is pretty understandable. His knee--the same one that hastened his end in Miami last season--is acting up again.
“Having to call it quits. My knee is not holding up,” David Garrard wrote in a text to Adam Schein of SiriusXM NFL radio (via Pro Football Talk). “Continuing to swell after practices. Limiting what I can do.”
At his age the chance his knee is going to get better is slim to none. Since it was the love of the game and not the money that was keeping him motivated to play it was not too hard for him to make the right call. With the glut of QBs that the Jets have his chances of playing (and possibly even making the team) were not good at all.

For McClain it wasn't a matter of time taking its toll on him and his body. It was more like he sabotaged his own career so at the tender young age of 23 the former Alabama great decided to hang it up.

His story is a sad one too (sad in that he could have had a great career). After being selected with the No. 8 pick in 2010 by the Oakland Raiders he went on to make close to 250 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and one interception for the Raiders over three seasons.

However, like many young players he has developed an undeniable knack for getting in trouble wit the law; often for things that were pretty stupid (like providing a false name when getting pulled over because his window tint was too dark).

Having a pretty public spat with the head coach last season didn't help at all either.

I can't help but think that there is something much more to McClain's retirement though. He did get picked up by the Ravens, and with all the losses they have had this off-season he likely would have played.

He does still have charges pending, but he would not have been the first player in that situation, nor would he have been the first to get jail time (should it come to that).

No, his behavior has not made a ton of sense since he has been in the NFL and his retirement doesn't make much sense either. It will be interesting to see if he does go through with filing his paperwork or if the Ravens talk him into sticking around.

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