LaMarr Woodley didn’t play in the NFL last season. He isn’t expected to return, either.
Woodley, the former Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl linebacker, told ESPN on Wednesday he has not given “a thought about playing at all” after missing the 2016 season.
So when asked whether he is retiring, Woodley made it pretty clear he’s not thinking about coming back.
“Pretty much, without the papers,” Woodley, 32, said after the University of Michigan’s Signing of the Stars event. “I haven’t put the papers in. With the NFL thing, I tell people all the time, it’s got to come to an end one day. Either you can walk away, they are going to throw you out or you’re going to get carried out. But you gotta get out, any way you go.
“It’s all about, ‘Are you going to be prepared for when it’s time to get out?’ And I think I’ve been prepared my whole life for when that day comes. I’m 32 years old. I’m young in life, but they call it old in football. But I’m young in life. I don’t know how they mixed that up, but that’s just how it is. I’m prepared for it, and I’m excited for this next journey in life.”
Woodley was drafted in the second round by Pittsburgh in 2007. He played in 110 games in his career for Pittsburgh, Oakland and Arizona, making 313 tackles with 58 sacks and five interceptions. He won a Super Bowl with the Steelers in 2009 — the same year he was named to his only Pro Bowl.
Woodley said he’s spent the past year working with commercial real estate, doing community service and finishing up a master’s degree in sports counseling. The Saginaw, Michigan, native also moved back to the state so he could be close to his hometown and his college, the University of Michigan.
He also said he’s considering making short films and is hoping to get locked in with Season 2 of the NFL Network show “Tackle My Ride.”
Woodley last played for the Cardinals in 2015, when he tore his pectoral muscle against Cincinnati. It landed him on injured reserve and ended up being the final game of his career.
“The thing is, when you come into the NFL, you have goals to accomplish,” Woodley said. “You want to win a Super Bowl. You want to be on a winning team. You want to go out there and set records. I’ve done all that.
“So I have nothing to look back on. I went to two Super Bowls, won one, lost one. Been to the Pro Bowl. I’ve set records. You know what I’m saying. I’ve done national things off the field, so I enjoyed it. I have nothing to look back on and say, ‘I wish I would have done that.'”
Woodley said he’s happy with his football legacy in the league, at college and in his hometown. Now he wants to build his own legacy away from the field as well.
“That,” Woodley said, “is one of my goals.”