The Houston Texans’ C.J. Fiedorowicz, a former Iowa tight end, has retired from the NFL due to concussions. Fiedorowicz, who was placed on Houston’s reserve/retired list on Wednesday, suffered three concussions last season alone.
In four professional seasons, all with the Texans, Fiedorowicz caught 89 receptions for 881 yards and six touchdowns. He played in just five games last season.
“I have a backup plan,” Fiedorowicz told the Northwest Herald in February. “I’ve realized money is not happiness. Money definitely gives you freedom, but I’ve played four years. I’ve accomplished things I wanted to accomplish. It’s more about making my town happy, making my family happy and being able to enjoy the rest of my life.”
Last August, the Texans signed Fiedorowicz to a three-year, $22 million contract that included $10 million guaranteed. According to the Houston Chronicle, the Texans reworked Fiedorowicz’s contract when he retired.
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Fiedorowicz suffered his first concussion of 2017 in training camp and his second in the Texans’ season opener. He was placed on injured reserve in early September but returned to the active roster in Week 10. Three weeks later, Fiedorowicz left a game against the Tennessee Titans with a concussion and was placed on IR again.
By being placed on the reserve-retired list, the Texans maintain their rights to Fiedorowicz if he decided to return to football.
Fiedorowicz’s agent Jack Bechta said Fiedorowicz has had time to think about the decision and is excited about the next chapter in his life.
“I reminded him that only a handful of people get to play professional sports, let alone in the NFL,” Bechta said. “If you play for one year or 15, you’ve done something that not many of your peers can do. You can use what you’ve accomplished there as a springboard for whatever else you want to do in life. As a metaphor for life, you can accomplish anything.”
Fiedorowicz felt he was in excellent physical shape this offseason and said his body felt great. But the repeated blows to the head affected his outlook on playing.
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