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Broncos’ guard John Moffitt announced last week that he was quitting the NFL – not for a lack of playing time, but because he’d lost his love for the game and was tired of risking his health.

After calling the Broncos from his home in Seattle to let them know he wouldn’t be returning after the team’s bye, Moffitt announced the decision on Twittersaying “Football was fun but my head hurts-haha kidding roger goodell. I’m on to new things, thanks to everyone along the way!!!” (@Moffitt74). (Mile High Report, Broncos lineman John Moffitt unofficially announces retirement on Twitter, November 5, 2013)

According to fftoolbox.com, each NFL team plays 16 games out of 17 weeks in the NFL schedule. The game that they don’t play is called their bye week, or “Open Date”. (FFToolbox.com, 2013 NFL Bye Weeks, 2013)

The Broncos had five days to formally release Moffitt, who left more than $1 million on the table, including about $312,500 for the remainder of this season and $752,500 in non-guaranteed salary in 2014. Moffitt signed a four-year contract for nearly $3 million after the Seattle Seahawks made him the 75th overall draft pick in 2011. Overall, Moffitt made about $1.8 million before taxes in his two and a half seasons in the NFL. To date, it appears Moffit has left the Broncos. (AP, Walton activated, Moffitt quits Broncos, November 5, 2013)

“I’m sure many fans, teammates, and coaches think what he’s doing is completely mad. They don’t understand how someone can give up the fame and fortune, especially so early in their career. Ask any athlete who has suffered a horrific injury or faced a long-term disability and they’ll tell you how Moffitt can walk away. They’ll tell you they don’t blame him,” says Frank N. Darras, disability lawyer to the pros.

In a phone interview with the Associated Press Moffitt explained his decision, “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”.

Moffitt went on to say that he doesn’t even care about giving up a shot at the Super Bowl. “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.” *

Although Moffitt never had a history of concussions, he acknowledged all the blows he sustained in practices and games concerned him. He simply wasn’t willing to risk it anymore since he had lost the love and passion he used to hold for the game, says Darras.

“For Moffitt, this was a highly personal decision anchored by his regard for both his health and his happiness. However, for other NFL players who still hold the game near and dear to their hearts, there needs to be protection in place to ease their concerns for their health and well-being. Private disability policies give you that peace of mind. Otherwise, you are risking your health day in and day out for nothing. You could lose all the money you were promised with just one career-ending hit,” says Darras.

*Source: AP, Walton activated, Moffitt quits Broncos, November 5, 2013

DarrasLaw is Americas' most honored and decorated disability litigation firm in the country. Mr. Darras has seen more, evaluated more, litigated more, and resolved more individual and group long term disability and long-term care cases than any other lawyer in the United States.

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