After eight NFL seasons, former Broncos and Jets tackle Ryan Clady has decided to retire. The free agent announced his decision on Twitter in a post captioned "I'm excited about what life holds for me going forward." Clady said that although teams were interested in signing him, he made the "difficult decision" to retire from the league.
Clady was four-time Pro Bowl selection, in addition to garnering three All-Pro honors (including first-team All-Pro appearances in 2009 and '12). Clady missed the 2015 season as the Broncos won Super Bowl 50 . After being signed by the Jets on a one-year deal in 2016, he was placed on injured reserve after nine games. Clady was linked to the always offensive line-needy Seahawks earlier in the offseason, but no deal was signed.
Clady claimed that he waited so long to see if "NFL training camps would inspire the passion that I need to perform at the standards that I established for myself during my 9-year NFL career." Of course, as training camps continue to ramp up and injuries start to mount, should a team make Clady the right offer, coming out of retirement is always an option. However, as of now, he seems to be comfortable with his decision.
His retirement marks a continuing trend of players retiring at a younger age. Although Clady was arguably on the back end or even out of his prime, his retirement in addition to theand the coincides neatly with a recent study that found in 110 out of 111 ex-NFL players' brains.
Players are undoubtedly aware of the study. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisbergeras one of several reasons that he's considering retiring after the upcoming 2017 season, saying that "I feel good mentally, I know this new study that came out that 90 percent [of NFL] players' brains who were studied had CTE. There's a lot of scary things, and I think my wife would be OK if I hung it up, too. But I still love the guys, I still love the game, so it was right for me to come back and give it everything I have this year."
Clady just marks the latest in early retirees, but it's entirely possible he simply didn't have anything left in the tank.