Former Dolphins RB Arian Foster explains abrupt retirement in 2016

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2016 feels like a lifetime ago.

For the Miami Dolphins, Adam Gase was the head coach and Ryan Tannehill was the starting quarterback. Nobody knew it would be the last time the team made the postseason during the decade.

Prior to the season, Miami signed former Houston Texans running back Arian Foster to a one-year deal to join a group of backs that included Jay Ajayi, Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams.

Foster had played in only four games the season prior before rupturing his Achilles tendon in a game coincidentally against the Dolphins. The injury was a tough blow to the Texans’ all-time leading rusher.

In 2016, he played in just four games for Miami before announcing his retirement following a Week 7 victory over the Buffalo Bills.

Foster talked about the abrupt decision during a recent appearance on the “I Am Athlete Tonight” podcast on SiriusXM Radio (transcribed by Sports Illustrated).

“When I was a kid, I asked my dad, ‘How did you know when you didn’t want to play anymore, you wanted to walk away,’ ” Foster said. “And he told me one time and I’ll never forget. He said, ‘You’ll know.’ And we were playing, I believe the Browns or the Steelers, and I was battling some small nicks and injuries and stuff, and I was standing on the sidelines.

“It was right before we went into halftime, and it’s just a vivid thought that at the time I was reading this book by Brian Greene, who’s a physicist. And I was really into the book. And I remember thinking, I was looking up at the stands and I thought vividly, I was like, I do not give a [expletive] who wins this game, like, I don’t care at all. I want to go home and I want to read my book. I want to finish reading my book. I would rather do that right now. That’s the thought that ran through my mind. Once that thought crossed my mind. I was like, it’s time to leave.”

In his four appearances in 2016, Foster rushed for just 55 yards on 2.5 yards per attempt and brought in six receptions for 78 yards. This was a far cry from the 4.5 yards per carry that he averaged in his seven seasons with the Texans.

“So we finished the game, the next day, I went to Coach (Adam) Gase’s office, and I told him exactly how I felt,” Foster said. “I said, ‘Listen, I don’t want to waste your time and I don’t want you to waste my time. I don’t play a position where it’s like you can haphazardly kind of just, you know, fake the funk. Like I could get hurt or somebody else could get hurt, right? He’s like, ‘Take a couple of days. I appreciate you talking to me about it. Take a couple days and you come back, if you still feel like that, we’ll rock with you. I did. I took a couple days. I got on one of those boats on a little river thing. I enjoyed my two days and I came back, I was like, that was the worst thing I could have done. I’m definitely done.”

Since retiring, Foster had done a little bit of everything. He hosted his own podcast called “Now What?” for a while before co-hosting “Macrodosing” with PFT Commenter of Barstool Sports. He’s worked his way into the music industry, and he’s even appeared on an episode of MTV’s “The Challenge.”

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