Heading into the summer, teams all around the NFL have begun the process of holding mini-camps and evaluating talent and possible needs. With the draft and most major free agent signings already in the books, even fans are starting to get the fever for the new NFL season, which is scheduled to get underway on September 8.
While the rest of the football world seems to be getting excited about the start of the new season, there is at least one NFL player who might be in the process of walking away from the game due in large part to his inability to find motivation and that excitement.
Knowshon Moreno last played professional football in 2014 for the Miami Dolphins. After signing a one-year deal with the Dolphins following his release by the Denver Broncos, Moreno tore his ACL in the third game of the 2014 season. Due to the extent of his injury, he was unable to make it back onto the gridiron last season, but held out hope he would be ready in 2016.
With the 2016 season right around the corner, Moreno claims to be physically ready to go, but according to Mike Klis of 9News in Denver, he might not be mentally ready. In fact, Moreno now claims to be 80% done with playing professional football. Exactly what that means is anyone's guess, but all indications are he is ready to retire while still trying to stay physically prepared should he have a last minute change of heart. Without a contract in hand, it could be that it is indeed time for him to step down.
Moreno was drafted by the Denver Broncos out of Georgia in 2009. After a very promising rookie season where he carried the ball 247 times for 947 yards and 7 touchdowns, Moreno struggle with injuries and platooning on the way to a disappointing 2010 season that saw his production fall off a bit.
Over the next two seasons, Moreno found himself either riding the bench, listed as inactive or sitting on the IR. After rededicating himself in 2013 to securing the starting job at running back, Moreno won the job and had his best season as a professional. Even though he rushed for 1,038 yards and 10 TDs, the Broncos elected to give him his outright release following the season in favor of younger and healthier running backs with whom the team had already made substantial financial investments.
After signing the deal with the Dolphins, it was a second injury to his ACL that seems to have pushed Moreno to his current state-of-mind. Playing in the NFL is both physically and mentally taxing on even the most successful players. When a player is left dealing with the frustration that comes from not being able to find a secure role within the league, retirement often becomes the only possible resolution, even at age 29. Should Moreno decide to call it quits, he leaves the league with a total of 3,616 rushing yards, 1,409 yards receiving and a total of 36 touchdowns during a career that spanned 6 seasons and 63 games.
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