Our often discussed LG Jacob Bell has decided to retire at age 31. Bell, who was not brought back to StL by his former coach, had just signed a 1 year deal with the Bengals. This offseason, he had been contemplating the risk to reward ratio should he continue to play football. With 100 starts in 109 games, Bell has put some miles on his body and although he said that he felt good, he made the decision to side with quality of life rather than to continue to play the sport of football.
It comes as no surprise that after all the recent discussions and attention put on concussions and the affect it has on individuals post football career, that Bell has made this decision. When asked if the death of Junior Seau had anything to do with his decision, he said "I'm not sure...it is something that I have been thinking about for a while. It might have been the cherry on top."
With the career that Bell has had, 31 seems a bit young to retire. He seemed to be in good shape and ready for another season, until his decision was announced. He stated that he would rather spend time with his family and enjoy his life rather than play a few more years of football and risk his long term health.
Its hard to fault someone that sites health and family as a reason to retire. In fact, I respect the guy from walking away from a game that offers him millions of dollars annually. Especially since the window to make your money is a small one in the NFL. I respect someone that can take a step back and self-reflect prior to making a major decision like this. As human beings, we tend to be resistant to major change. Walking away from the NFL and millions of dollars will require a major change in ones lifestyle. Regardless of what your opinion of Jacob Bell the OG was, you should respect the man for making such a difficult decision.
The major question is "Will Jacob Bell stay retired?"