For Chad Greenway, it was all about controlling his own NFL destiny.
He wanted to be able to walk away from the game on his own terms, and he did just that with his retirement after 11 seasons playing linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings.
‘Eleven years is a long time to tackle people in this league’
Greenway was healthy enough and still talented enough to continue playing. He just knew when to say enough was enough.
“Eleven years is a long time to tackle people in this league,” Greenway told Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn on the SiriusXM Blitz. “And I felt one of the important things for my career was wanting to be able to control the end of it. And the longer you play, the less control you have. And one of my goals was to finish with the Minnesota Vikings, play for one organization my whole career. And I think, in order to achieve that, sometimes you have to be done a year before they want you to be done and I think this is the right moment for me.
‘I’ve done and accomplished almost everything in this league’
“I’ve done and accomplished almost everything in this league, other than the Super Bowl ring. I’m just so proud of my career and I just thought it was a really good time to call it. I have four young kids at home and I want to make sure that my health is good and I’m able to be there for them.”
Greenway admits that, although he made the decision recently, it was something about which he gave a great deal of thought during the 2016 season.
‘After this past season, I was 90 percent retired already and I just wanted to be done’
“After this (past) season, I was 90 percent retired already and I just wanted to be done; I knew that,” Greenway said. “I just had to get that last 10 percent, that mentality out of me. I didn’t want to go into retirement with the thought that, ‘Well, I can still do this, I want to continue to play.’
“I know that I’m done with football, I know that I’m ready to be that way. I wanted to be the one to say I was done with football, not the other way around. That’s something that not a lot of professional athletes get a chance to do.”