This offseason for the NFL has been an interesting one to say the least. The league watched one of it's best players walk away before 30 when Patrick Willis retired. Then another very talented player in Jason Worilds walked away. Then Jake Locker. Then Chris Borland, and I think you get the point. In recent years the NFL has made a bigger deal on making it appear the game is safer. But the players buckling their chin straps in anticipation of collisions know it's not safe. There's a warning on the back of most helmets that tells them so.
When I was in high school, before we started having contact in practice our head coach would make us take a knee and read the warning on the back of the helmet; "This helmet can't protect from everything. You are risk to serious head and spinal injuries. Paralysis and death." The people I played with no too well about the dangers of playing the game football. We watched a teammate take a helmet to helmet hit, and walk off the field only to collapse on the sideline. He'd never play or walk again, he passed away 3 days later. Our next two games were cancelled, and our players contemplated whether or not they would play again. Each and every player continued to play. Although we did look at the game differently. Any time a player was hurt we were more concerned than ever before. Some players even wondered out loud if playing football was right for them.
I bring this up because I think the NFL players are experiencing something similar. They're seeing how hard retirement has been for players living with CTE. They're aware of hall of fame Running Back Joe Perry dying from CTE. The players today are smarter and more educated on the harm that can be done to their bodies and brains.
What we've seen this offseason is juat the tip of the iceberg. I beleive we will see more and more players retiring before the age of 30. Former Pro-Bowl Safety Bernard Pollard even says he won't let his children play football. One has to wonder if in the distance future if they'll even be player to retire before 30. But for now, I for one think we will see more and more players retire before 30.