Released just days ago by the Miami Dolphins, linebacker Channing Crowder(notes) announced that he's retiring from professional football.
Crowder is 27 years old, and was, as far as I could tell, a pretty capable linebacker. A little on the crazy side, maybe, but not in a way that ever kept anyone from busting heads on the football field. No one gives you a history quiz on Anne Frank before you sack a quarterback. No one needs an assurance that you won't fight an old man and his father.
His crazy has taken a different form this time, though. He's just walking away from the game. From NBC Miami:
"I had opportunities," Crowder told WQAM host Sid Rosenberg. "When I started thinking about retiring and it became an option, that's when I knew I should do it." [...]Okie dokie then. Crowder says he doesn't need money and has saved "most of his money," and if he'd rather quit football and spend time with his family than play for anyone but the Dolphins, then why not?
"I'm retiring. I'm staying at home," he said on-air. "I'm going to keep playing in Miami but I'm not putting a helmet on."
He was slated to make $2.5 million with the Dolphins in 2011 before being let go. It is unusual, though. Just a few days ago, Crowder took a physical with the Patriots. If he didn't want to play football, I don't know why he'd go up to Foxborough and let himself be poked and prodded by the Pats team doctors. Maybe there's something else at play here. Certainly, some team out there could use him. During his six seasons with Miami, Crowder racked up 469 tackles (343 solo). Despite being drafted in just 2005, he says he's done, and since he isn't Brett Favre(notes), I see no reason to doubt him. Enjoy retirement, Channing. If you're ever feeling nostalgic for some Crowder crazy, the Palm Beach Post put together this list of the greatest all-time Channing Crowder quotes. He walks away from the game as an underrated quote machine.