Denver Bronco John Moffitt quits team, walks away from $1M
DENVER — It wasn’t because he was unhappy about playing time. It wasn’t because he wasn’t getting paid enough. It wasn’t because he didn’t think his team had a shot to win. John Moffitt walked away from the NFL and a lucrative contract because he loved his health more than he loved the game.
The third-year offensive lineman called the Broncos from his home in Seattle this week to notify them he wouldn’t be returning to the team following its bye.
Then he announced his decision on Twitter.
The Broncos put Moffitt on their reserve list on Tuesday, and activated center J.D. Walton from the physically unable to perform list to take Moffitt’s place.
They have five days to formally release Moffitt, who left more than $1 million on the table, including about $312,000 for the remainder of this season and more than $700,000 in salary next season. All of that would have been paid to Moffitt, who was not suiting up for games, if he gave the Broncos enough reason to cut him.
He chose what many are calling the high road instead.
While he knows teammates and fans don’t understand how he could walk away from a million dollars or the ride of a lifetime that goes along with playing professional football, Moffitt said he isn’t worried about satisfying anyone but himself.
“I just really thought about it and decided I’m not happy. I’m not happy at all,” Moffitt told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Seattle. “And I think it’s really madness to risk your body, risk your well-being and risk your happiness for money.
“Everybody, they just don’t get it and they think it’s crazy. But I think what I was doing is crazy.”
Even with the 7-1 Broncos looking like legitimate championship contenders, Moffitt said he didn’t have enough passion to hang around for a chance at a Super Bowl ring.
“I don’t care about the Super Bowl. I don’t,” Moffitt insisted. “I used to. I mean, anytime I played this game, I gave my heart to it and I’m a person that does thing with his heart. … I don’t need the Super Bowl experience. I played in great stadiums and I played against great players. And I had that experience and it’s enough.”
The Broncos acquired Moffitt on Aug. 20 from the Seahawks after he’d lost out on a starting job during training camp. He played in two games for the Broncos.