After 10 years with the New York Jets, D’Brickashaw Ferguson has retired from the NFL. A three-time Pro Bowler, Ferguson, 32, missed just one snap in his career.
How much of his retirement has to do with concerns over concussions, and how much of it has to do with pride? After all, the Jets asked Ferguson to take a pay cut from the $10.375 million he was slated to make in 2016.
“I think it’s all of that,” former Packers wide receiver Sterling Sharpe said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “You have to know yourself, you have to know where you are physically, you have to know where you are mentally, and you have to know where you are financially. If you can do something else, (he’s) probably not going to make the same type of money, but he doesn’t have to do a whole lot if he took care of his money. And I think the concussion thing is a big deal. I think a lot of people are paying attention to it now.”
Ferguson, of course, isn’t the only NFL player to retire early this offseason. There’s also Calvin Johnson and Jerod Mayo, among others.
Still, Sharpe doesn’t expect this trend – if you can call it that – to continue.
“I’m not going to say (it’s) a trend,” he said. “I don’t think we’re going to see 10, 15 guys do it a year that have been in the league for two, three, four years or five, six, seven years. I think the way they’re trying to make our sport a lot safer, I think that’s going to cut into a little bit of that. But I wouldn’t be shocked if, in the next two to four years, we see some name guys who have been in the league for five or six years decide to hang it up.”
On the flip side, one player who might have hung around too long was Sharpe’s former teammate, Brett Favre, who bounced around with the Jets and Vikings before calling it a career after the 2010 season.
There were some hard feelings between Favre and the Packers when the two sides split, but the 46-year-old returned to Lambeau Field to a standing ovation in November.
“He had to come back,” Sharpe said. “The Green Bay Packers wanted him back forever, and the way things ended for him and them – time had to heal those wounds, and time did. We’re very happy that he’s back in the fold.”