After just four years in the league, former second-round draft pick Devin Thomas has gotten all he needs out of football. He's walking away from the game.
He announced it himself on Twitter.
I have decided to retire from the NFL.
God has blessed me w achieving a childhood dream. I want to give back to my hometown and coach/mentor kids so they can reach their own. 1LUV.
With youth, health and a seemingly assured roster spot, Thomas' retirement comes out of nowhere.
He said he wants to help kids reach their dreams, which is admirable and wonderful, but, via the New York Daily News, his reasons seem to bounce around a bit, too. It doesn't seem like he loves the lifestyle and he fears long-term damage from injury.
"What am I risking when I step onto the field?" he said. "Do I want to be in a position where I can't play with my kids? Do I want to end up leaving the game with all kinds of brain damage where I can't remember things? It's a good time for me to step away.
"I'm at a good age where I'm still healthy," he added. "I had my own injuries that I can account to, when I almost thought I broke my neck, concussions. Everybody glorifies this game, says it's so great. It's definitely something people put you on a plateau. But they don't understand the sacrifices you make personally. As a young man that understands the bigger picture, I know this game doesn't define me."
No, it sure doesn't, and that's good, because his career wasn't particularly memorable.
Thomas had been on four teams in four years, and though he did collect a Super Bowl ring with the Giants last season, he never had a lot of individual success. His best year was 2009 with the Redskins when he had 25 receptions for 325 yards.
He caught only three passes with the Giants, but he came up huge on special teams in last season's NFC championship game. Thomas jumped on two loose fumbles, both of which were pivotal in helping the Giants beat the 49ers and get to the Super Bowl.
He seems at peace with his career, which, in the end, is all that really matters. Redskins and NFL fans will regard him as a disappointment, though, after Vinny Cerrato drafted him for the Redskins in the second round in 2008.
Receivers taken after Thomas in the '08 draft include Eddie Royal, Jerome Simpson, Mario Manningham, Donnie Avery, Pierre Garcon, Stevie Johnson and DeSean Jackson. Matt Forte, Ray Rice and Jamaal Charles were all taken after Thomas, too.