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Mike McCray, a former standout linebacker for the University of Michigan who was most recently with the Miami Dolphins, retired from football Tuesday. He made the announcement via Twitter:
— Mike McCray II (@BigPlayMcCray_9) July 24, 2018
McCray: ‘I have been playing the game of football for the wrong reasons’
In his lengthy post, McCray, 23, touched on a variety of reasons for ending his playing career.
Sports [sic] has taught me so much, and it’s what I know well, but football has helped shape me into the man I am today; through the good times and the bad times. But I am more than just a [sic] athlete. I am a Man of God, I’m a Man with a sense of humor, I’m a Man who wants to give back…
As a captain for the Wolverines last year, McCray recorded 84 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. He was also a key special teams contributor. For the second straight year, he was an All-Big Ten honorable mention selection.
McCray wasn’t picked in the 2018 NFL draft, but Miami added him as a priority undrafted free agent, and he was thought to have a decent shot at making the final roster. Instead, he retired two days before the Dolphins’ training camp opened, and the team placed him on the reserve/retired list.
Though it’s a rather abrupt end to a playing career, McCray said playing the game no longer made him happy:
For some time now, I have even playing the game of football for the wrong reasons and during this time I sacrificed my happiness and well being. I want to encourage those reading this to do what feels good on the inside and not what looks good on the outside.
McCray added that though this is the end of his playing career, it’s not the end of his football career, so he may get into coaching or another department down the road.
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