Miami Dolphins running back Arian Foster announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday, effective immediately. Foster signed with the Dolphins this offseason after spending the first seven years of his career with the Houston Texans, a time during which he was one of the best running backs in the NFL.
Foster made the announcement on "Uninterrupted."
BREAKING NEWS: @ArianFoster announces his retirement on UNINTERRUPTED. His story on why he's walking away. pic.twitter.com/FK09XpkqUo— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) October 25, 2016
The full text of Foster's announcement is transcribed below. It has been edited into multiple paragraphs for clarity:
There comes a time in every athlete's career when their ambition and their body are no longer on the same page. I've reached that point. It's hard to write those words because this game been everything to me ... my therapy, my joy, my solace and my enemy.
I've learned to love every facet of this game, from the peak of accomplishment to the gutter of criticism. And it all makes the ride worthwhile. I've been fortunate enough to play many successful years in this league.
I've given a lot to this game and given up a lot for it. But it has returned to me more than I could have ever asked for. Faceless gladiators have been shuffled in and out of this arena for decades and I'm proud to have taken part in that legacy.
My father always said, "You'll know when it's time to walk away." It has never been more clear than right now.I'm walking away with peace. I know it's not commonplace to do it midseason, but my body just can't take the punishment this game asks for any longer.
I want to thank the Miami Dolphins, with everything in me, for allowing me to bow out with grace and making this process as easy as possible. It means everything to my family and I, I've created lifelong relationships in my short time there that I'm forever thankful for.
Every athlete would love to go out as a Super Bowl MVP, riding off into the sunset with the crowd cheering their name. Unfortunately, life has other plans and they're usually opposite the imagination. But that imagination got me this far and I could not be prouder of the things my teammates and I accomplished in this game.
I'd like to send a sincere thank you to all those who I've come in contact with throughout this journey. This is a beautifully violent game and the same reason I loved it is why I have to walk away. That bittersweet taste will forever linger with me, but on my next journey, I get to carry those memories with me. Hopefully, lol (emoji peace sign)
Foster was prone to injury during his career, and as he mentioned in his announcement, he suffered yet another injury earlier this season. He came back from the injury in Week 6 but did not see much time on the field over the past two weeks. The burden on his body apparently became too great for him to bear.
His eight-year career comes to an end with his having carried 1,476 times for 6,527 yards and 54 touchdowns. He was a prolific pass-catching back as well, with 255 receptions for 2,346 yards and 14 additional scores. His 8,873 yards from scrimmage ranked ninth in the NFL during that time.
Foster led the NFL in rushing yards (1,616), rushing touchdowns (16) and yards from scrimmage (2,220) during his breakout 2010 season, then led the league in rushing touchdowns again in 2012 (15). He made the Pro Bowl during both of those seasons, and in 2011 and 2014 as well. He was also named a first-team All-Pro in 2010 and a second-team member in 2011.
Foster was also not just a great player, but one who was very open and outspoken about issues facing the league, both football and otherwise. He has long been considered one of the NFL's most eloquent and thoughtful players, and if he wants to have a career commenting on the NFL or the world of sports in general now that he's done playing, one will almost definitely be available to him; and he should shine in that role as he did on the field.