File this one under “Well, that was unexpected.”
Astute readers (all three of you!) may notice that I haven’t written anything since Dick LeBeau departed the Steelers. Part of that is because it’s been difficult to enjoy football lately. The bad guys won the Super Bowl, the Steelers look ready to dismantle their entire veteran core, and the National Football League Of Entitled Millionaires continues to see off-the-field troubles, and yet it grows ever stronger.
And with that, Jason Worilds, on the verge of free agency, has decided to walk away from the NFL. It’s certainly odd to see a player leave at this stage of his career, coming off a serviceable season and potentially cashing in as an unrestricted free agent. But that isn’t what Worilds wanted. He hasn’t said what he intends to do from now on, but with a few million dollars in his pocket, more power to him. People who play football for a long time have it rough in their later years, and it looks like that won’t be an issue for Worilds, leaving with his body and brain intact.
Patrick Willis and Jake Locker also announced their retirements seemingly earlier than expected (Willis is 30, Locker 26). Is this an anomaly, or the start of a new trend of players making their money and escaping to live past 50?
In any case, I’m glad for Worilds, and I’m okay with it for the Steelers. Worilds’ situation was something of an elephant in the room, as we aren’t really sure if he’s deserving of a large contract to be a contributor on defense, or if his good run was just a spike in an otherwise mediocre career. Thanks to his retirement, that’s one decision the Steelers don’t have to make.
Let’s punctuate this with probably my favorite tweet in 2015 so far:
I guess I’ll start writing about football again now that football things are happening!