The NFL is very demanding and oftentimes absorbs all of your time, energy and health. This is why guaranteed money is essential when negotiating an NFL contract, and during free agency this year, it seemed like everyone was getting the biggest deal in NFL history. I was not one of those players, and until recently, I was unemployed. This marked the first time since entering the NFL in 2005 that my future was uncertain. The reality of not knowing where I would play next season, or if I would be playing at all, was overwhelming.
Being a 12-year undrafted NFL veteran, transitioning away from football has become a common topic of discussion between me and my wife: What’s next, how will I continue to support our family and how do I transition away from playing on Sundays. In theory, it seems easy. I have my degree from UC Berkeley, I have built great relationships throughout my career, and I have even exposed myself to internships and continuing education opportunities while playing. But seeing and hearing from my colleagues and watching films like Broke has me fearful about not being in an NFL locker room and playing football.
But then I think of 2 Timothy 1:7 and remember, “God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of love, strength and a sound mind.” Being able to transform my fear into hope because of what God has done throughout my life has made this process more manageable. Through prayer, conversations with family and friends, and a refreshing attitude, I found peace with the uncertainty of my future. I decided not dwell on things I couldn’t control, but rather take the time to reengage in the areas of my life that needed attention: my marriage, my kids and my health. I have come to realize that what I do is ever-changing, and I need to focus on the things in life that matter the most. Moving forward, I will continue to make a conscious effort to invest in my family and remember that God has equipped me to face adversity.