Matt Light Early Retirement A Sign Of Newer, Healthier NFL?

It may be puzzling for some Pats fans to see Matt Light, longtime anchor of the Patriots Offensive line, decide to call it quits in the prime of his playing career. Light, who played 11 NFL seasons (all with New England) has said that he wanted to walk away while he is still “upright” to enjoy an active life with his young family. Player health has been a red hot issue in the NFL lately, especially following the outbreak of Bounty Gate mania and the tragic ending to Junior Seau’s life. As we move ahead in the modern NFL era, do not be surprised if you start to see more guys end their careers early.Mounting evidence about the long-term impact of football on a player’s body and brain has created a culture change in the NFL. When you factor in the health risks, it is easy to see why a big man like Matt Light would want to hang ’em up early. The NFL’s large lineman are especially known to have shortened, painful lives after football because their bodies have deteriorated under the burden of so much weight. Plus, all football players face a high risk of concussion every time they step on the field. So, it may be best to get out of the game before the game forces you out. Perhaps other players will follow Light’s lead and make the tough decision to leave the NFL while they are still healthy. After all that he has accomplished it makes sense for the former 2nd round pick out of Purdue to quit while he is ahead. Light appeared in 5 Superbowls with the Patriots, winning 3 of them. As a leader of Brady’s Bouncers, number 72 was a staple on one of the NFL’s all-time great O-Line units for over a decade. Pats fans should remember Light as a tough, technically sound blocker who protected Brady’s blind side for many years.  Congrats to Matt Light on a long, storied career with the New England Patriots!

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