NFL Player Darren Waller Retires at 31

The New York Giants’ tight end Darren Waller has declared his retirement from professional football.

An online video posted on Sunday by Waller details his decision. In it, he explains that a health crisis he experienced in November helped him gain perspective on his life. 

The 31-year-old talked about a “terrifying situation” that left him hospitalized for three and a half days and making it hard for him to breathe. He allegedly had trouble eating, standing up, and using the restroom. Waller was vague when asked what exactly he was fighting.

Waller caught 350 passes for 4,124 yards and 20 touchdowns during his NFL career. 

Over his nine years in the NFL, he played for the New York Giants, the Oakland Raiders, and the Baltimore Ravens.

The Giants have been waiting for him to decide whether he would play or not. He skipped the team’s off-season exercises.

Last November, while recovering from a game-related injury, he was returning to his New Jersey home after filming a music video when he started to feel sick, which led to him “shaking like pretty violently” and having difficulty breathing, he added. According to him, he dialed 911 and spent three and a half days in the hospital.

He said it was pretty evident that he nearly lost his life, adding that he wasn’t sure he would have felt great about his life had he died at that time. He said, for some reason, the enthusiasm he once felt for the work he was doing had been dwindling. The experience forced him into a “position to re-evaluate.”

Prior to the 2018 season, Waller was dismissed by the Ravens and placed on the Raiders’ practice squad. He caught six passes in four games.

In the event that Waller would not return, New York selected Penn State tight end Theo Johnson in the fourth round of the recent draft. Lawrence Cager and Daniel Bellinger are back from the previous season. Veteran Chris Manhertz was also a free agent signee for the Knicks.