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John Moffitt on his decision to retire: ‘I lost my passion’

By Brady Henderson

Somewhere between the beginning of his second season in Seattle and his brief stint in Denver, John Moffitt came to the realization that football was no longer fun.

More than anything, he says, that was the reason he decided to walk away from the NFL at the age of 27 and just two and a half years into his career.

“It was a whole gamut of things, but the first thing was really that I lost my passion. I wasn’t happy. I was not happy at all,” the former Seahawks guard told “Bob and Groz” on 710 ESPN Seattle. “And I was like, ‘How long are you going to not be happy for? Are you going to play for four more years in the league and just be miserable?’ “

Moffitt informed the Broncos early last week that he would not return to the team following its bye. So ended a career that began in 2011 when the Seahawks drafted him in the third round out of Wisconsin. Moffitt played two seasons in Seattle – one that was cut short by a knee injury and another he spent in and out of the starting lineup – before his trade to the Broncos.

“I was not happy at all,” said former Seahawks guard John Moffitt, who retired from the NFL after two spending years in Seattle and a half a season in Denver. (AP)

Half a season in Denver was enough to convince him that he’d be happier doing something other than playing football. He plans to pursue a career in broadcasting, and he said he’s not worried about all the NFL money he’s walking away from.

Moffitt’s decision to retire meant leaving about $1 million on the table – including the remainder of this year’s salary and what he was scheduled to make in 2014, the final year of his rookie contract.

“The money and all that stuff, it really stopped mattering … because I wasn’t happy regardless,” he said. “I was never happy when I had money. I didn’t even care about stuff. Nothing really meant as much because everything was easier to get. I feel like you enjoy stuff a little bit more when it’s a little bit more difficult. You can’t always get everything you want. I think that’s what makes life so enjoyable.”

Seattle traded Moffitt in August after he lost out in a competition with J.R. Sweezy to be the team’s starting right guard. Moffitt was a backup in Denver, appearing in two games with no starts before retiring. While his loss of passion for the game was the primary reason he called it quits, he said it might not have come to that had things worked out in Seattle.

“Everything that happened to me was probably part of the decision. I could easily say that if things went differently, maybe I would still be playing football right now,” he said. “… If I was starting right now for the Seahawks, I might still be playing football, honestly. But that wasn’t the case, and I was where I was and I just wanted to change things.”

A bone to pick

The trade to Denver came only after Seattle’s deal with Cleveland fell through due to what the Browns said was a failed physical, something that still sticks in Moffitt’s craw.

“I haven’t said this publicly – they suck. Cleveland sucks,” he said of the Browns. “They are so terrible and the way that they did me in that front office is so dirty. They failed me on a b.s. physical.”

The trade to Cleveland was contingent upon Moffitt passing a team-administered physical. Not long after he underwent and MRI and was told by a doctor that there was nothing wrong with his knee, Moffitt said, the Browns asked him to take a paycut, which he wasn’t willing to do.

“And then my agent finally did some work and figured out that per the CBA you can’t do that on a trade,” he said. “So now they just call me up to [their] office and say, ‘We’re going to fail you on your physical.’ I went in with the GM, talked to him, and they tried to get the head trainer to tell me that my knee wasn’t right and they … were basically trying to lie to me. I was like, ‘That’s great. Thanks. You guys really set me up here because you failed me on a physical [and] the whole league’s going to know.’ “

The trade became void and Seattle dealt Moffitt to Denver a day later.

What’s next

For Moffitt, there’s still love for the game he’s leaving and his former teammates in Seattle. He said he watched the Seahawks’ win over Atlanta on Sunday and has seen some of his friends on the team since he’s been back in town.

“I will always be a football fan,” he said. “I love football. I just – I don’t want to play it.”

What he wants to do instead is start podcast that he hopes will launch him into a radio career. He’s setting up a studio in his house that will be complete with cameras and a bar.

“I’m really excited about it,” he said.

The podcast won’t revolve around sports, though. When asked for some potential topics of discussion, Moffitt mentioned the NSA, spirituality and psychedelic drugs.

“[The plan is to] just have people over and just talk,” he said, “keep it quick, keep it fun.”

Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.