Former Chiefs QB Joe Montana regrets retiring following 1994 season

Charles Goldman
·2 min read

What if Joe Montana had one more shot to lead the Kansas City Chiefs to a Super Bowl title?

Today, Montana revealed that he wished he would’ve stayed in Kansas City in 1995 instead of retiring. In an exclusive interview with USA TODAY Sports studio host Mackenzie Salmon, Montana revealed that he has regrets about retiring when he did.

“Well, if I didn’t have a shoulder replacement, I might still be playing at 64,” Montana joked.

But really injuries were at the crux of Montana’s decision. At 39 years old, when Montana decided to retire, his body had taken a pounding. It’s what you’d expect after 16 NFL seasons in the era in which he played. While the spirit was willing for Montana, the flesh was weak and his body just couldn’t take it anymore.

“Even to this day I look back and regret that I left the Chiefs even with one year on my contract,” Montana told Salmon. “But it was more of a physical thing for me. The injuries that I’d had — the concussion that I had the year before — was really one of the worst ones that I had. Looking ahead at my family and the ages of my four kids and I was missing a lot with them. I really wanted to be able to do physical things, which, I’m still limited now, after all. I made the right decision for me at the time.”

Ultimately, we’ll never know how history would have turned out if Montana had stayed. Would Lin Elliot’s horrid divisional playoff game in 1995 have happened? Would the Chiefs have another Super Bowl title to their name? The questions about what could have happened are endless. Yet, looking at the reasons why Montana made his decision to retire, it’d be selfish to say that he made anything other than the right choice by walking away from the game when he did.

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