There’s been plenty of NFL news as Week 8 approaches, but none as big as what happened on Monday evening. As reported by Uninterrupted, Miami Dolphins running back Arian Foster decided to call it a career after just seven weeks of NFL action in 2016. While it’s a bit surprising to hear, it’s not completely shocking, and Foster’s statements explain it all.
Foster says a lot in that statement, but there are quite a few things that really jump off the page. For starters, the following is something that so many other NFL running backs have probably thought, but have refused to say:
“I’m walking away with peace. I know it’s not commonplace to do it midseason, but my body just can’t take the punishment this game asks for any longer.”
Foster also was honest and realistic about the fact that his career won’t end the way that every athlete wants it to end.
“Every athlete would love to go out as a Super Bowl MVP, riding off into the sunset with the crowd cheering their name. Unfortunately, life has other plans and they’re usually opposite the imagination.”
Of any quote, statement or interview that any NFL player has had in recent memory, it’s hard not to appreciate this one the most. Foster knew it was his time, and unfortunately, after an eight-year NFL career, his body just couldn’t hold up anymore. The belief that a running back hits a wall at the age of 30 has proven to be true time and time again, but Foster refused to let mediocrity over the final years of his career define him.
Instead, Foster goes out with a 4.4 yard-per-carry average, 6,527 rushing yards, 255 receptions, 2,346 receiving yards and 68 combined touchdowns. And just for good measure, Foster also tossed one touchdown pass as well, proving that he was able to do a little bit of everything if needed.
The way Foster deserves to be remembered is his three-year stretch from 2010 to 2012. During that run, Foster played in 45 games, totaling 4,264 rushing yards, 1,438 receiving yards and 49 combined touchdowns. He was a superstar in every form of the word, and while injuries may have derailed his career, as well as his age catching up to him in the end, the fact that the long-time Houston Texan knew when to hang it up might be the most impressive part of all.
Foster probably won’t be a Hall of Famer in the end, and he likely won’t deserve the praise he actually should. One thing that he certainly should be remembered for though is being one of the very few players who knew his body and knew the situation. Former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson hung it up early, and he still had plenty left in the tank. Other names that come to mind are guys like Patrick Willis, Jason Worilds, Chris Borland and Anthony Davis.
All of those names could still produce, yet decided to hang it up. No, Foster wasn’t the same player in 2016 as he was back in 2010, but calling it a career in the middle of the season just shows that he wasn’t willing to just do it for a paycheck anymore.