In one of the stranger stories out of the NFL a couple years ago, Quinn Pitcock retired after his rookie season with the Indianapolis Colts. Pitcock wasn’t an afterthought in the draft either. He was originally selected in the third round of the 2007 draft. After having his rights waived by the Colts this year, Pitcock decided to work out for the Seattle Seahawks. Now according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, the former All-American and All-Big Ten Conference player from 2006 is preparing to play again at the age of 26.
Quinn Pitcock played in nine games with 18 tackles and 1.5 sacks his rookie year for the Colts. The Colts had big plans for him, but Pitcock decided, for some reason, that he didn’t want to play football anymore. According to reports at the time, Pitcock had doubts about signing his rookie contract. Then, he reportedly almost quit in the middle of his rookie year before finally pulling the trigger and retiring during training camp before his second year. Bill Polian and the Colts were distressed by Pitcock’s retirement because they also lost out on their other DT Ed Johnson because he couldn’t stop himself from smoking pot.* Apparently, the whole retirement thing didn’t take any more than that rookie contract he signed with the Colts.
It seems so strange that a guy with an opportunity to play professional football would be able to just walk away. Not everyone loves the things they excel at in life. We all know this too well as many of us work jobs that are far removed from our dreams. Somehow we manage to grind it out and earn our paychecks. Then again, if his head wasn’t in the game, it probably would have been pretty dangerous to even step on the field where real physical consequences could occur. The same can’t be said of sitting through boring meetings, for example, unless you count the death of brain cells. Still, with the financial stakes being what they are in professional sports, it is so hard for fans to understand anyone turning down an opportunity to make those dollars. The contrast is especially stark when you compare someone like Pitcock to the scratching and clawing for an NFL career that Josh Cribbs has gone through.
Pitcock finds himself joining a defense that was ranked 24th in the league a year ago. Seattle was 15th against the run and 10th in sacks with 41. We will see if one of the former team leaders from Ohio State can find a way to restart his NFL career after taking a year off. And maybe we will even find out if there were any real reasons that Pitcock decided to walk away from the game in the first place other than apathy.
(* I could have had links to many stories in the Indy Star, but apparently that organization doesn’t understand the concept of PERMALINKS.)