The news is mildly surprising for the simple fact that no one else was considering that he might retire, but if you listened to Ferguson talk about his reaction to the movie Concussion you had to know that he was considering retirement. Ferguson talked about how he felt "betrayed" by the NFL and even wrote an article for Sports Illustrated explain his reaction, which you can read here.
"I had the opportunity to see the movie Concussion and read the book by Jeanne Marie Laskas on which the film was based," Ferguson wrote. "I was astounded by what I learned regarding the NFL and it's apparent denial of Dr. Bennet Omalu's discovery of the link between brain injury, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and professional football players."
The movie and the book clearly had an impact on Ferguson and recent comments from owners like Jerry Jones and Jim Irsay couldn't have helped sooth those feelings of betrayal. Ferguson told reporters he was looking at football in a new light and would need to give consideration to retiring earlier than he was originally planning to. At 32-years-old he simply decided to not concern himself with the money but to walk away as healthy as he possibly can be.
Ferguson played for 10 years and had a great career, never missed a game with an injury and made an awful lot of money, so for him to decide to retire instead of increasing his chance of developing CTE makes all the sense in the world.
For the Jets this decision will free up cap space that could be spent on re-signing Ryan Fitzpatrick but it leaves the Jets with an immediate need at left tackle now and the timing of this decision is obviously less than ideal for the Jets. Had he retired before free agency the Jets could've used that money to sign a new left tackle, now they could still attempt a trade or wait for training camp cuts but the most likely scenario involves them having to draft a left tackle. Which isn't the worst thing in the world because there was a very high probability they were going to anyway.
Chris Nimbley is the Editor-in-Chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)