“NFL Player-Leaves Game-Finds Self”
It was only 1-sentence in a waiver wire story. Jason Brown, a former starter center with the Baltimore Ravens and St. Louis Rams, retires.
That was it.
It could have been just a typical story of a veteran player, beset by injuries, whose time was up Or a player done in by the salary cap, replaced by a younger player. Or a player who lost his desire to go on any further.
Happens all the time in the NFL, maybe the most transient form of employments in all of sports, unless you are a star quarterback, or a superstar player.
Roster moves are like the sun, players leave, like the sun comes up.
Except in the case of Jason Brown, longtime NFL center.
He walked away from the NFL with alot of money. He walked away from 37M that was left on his contract.
He walked away to become a farmer in North Carolina.
He walked away to do charity work, growing food for the hungry, and helping the handicapped.
A pretty good football player, whose life and values suddenly changed. Rated as the top interior offensive lineman when he became a high priced NFL free agent. A warrior, a captain, and a quality citizen.
Not by a torn knee ligament or a concussion, not by virtue of stud coming in to replace him via the NFL draft, but because of death.
The death of his brother, killed in Afghanistan.
It changes his value system. It drove him to want to do something on behalf of the fallen soldier. He wanted to give back.
So he spent his money to buy and build a farm And on that farm, he plants crops, tills the soil from sunrise to sunset, employs the handicaps, and gives back to his town and national charities.
He wanted to make a difference after his fallen brother made a difference defending the country.
In an era where we have to deal with the quirks of Colin Kaeperneck, the troubles of Greg Hardy, the struggles of the Cleveland Browns, and the NFL handing out stiff fines daily for cheapshots to celebration penalties, Jason Brown has found himself.
He’s found peace, prosperity and purpose. A devout Christian, who made his mark in the dirty business of playing offensive line in the NFL trenches.
That one sentence statement about his career on the waiver wire doesn’t tell you much about the man and his new mission.
A fascinating story about life’s priorities, once he decided his football life was over.