Bears’ receiver Devin Thomas announced retirement through a message on his social account, and the team confirmed he indeed has called it quits.
“I have come to a decision to retire from the NFL,” Thomas wrote Sunday morning.
Thomas sent a subsequent message in what seemed to be a reason for his call to quit.
“God has blessed me (with) achieving a childhood dream,” Thomas wrote. “I want to give back to my hometown and coach/mentor kids so that they can reach their own.”
Thomas declared that he’d been thinking about retiring for some considerable time, but the daily grind of training camp played a role in enticing out the decision.
“I definitely feel just like it’s a weight lifted, the beginning of my true life. I am very excited to be able to live my life without anything holding me back. Betting lines
“It’s something I meditated on for some time. But as I was preparing for the upcoming season, my spirit was telling me it was time to turn over a new leaf and put away this childish game idolized by so many people.”
Bears coach Lovie Smith asserted he did not try to convince Thomas to stay.
“He’s not with us anymore; decided he didn’t want to play any more football,” Smith expounded. “You don’t want a fellow out here if he is not completely into football and he has a passion to play it. So it’s not like I try and talk guys out of it when they’ve made up their minds.”
A 2nd-round draft pick of the Redskins in 2008, Thomas played in 55 career games (including 11 starts) with the Redskins, Panthers and Giants, with whom he earned a Super Bowl ring in the 2011 season.
In 4 seasons in the NFL, Thomas, 25 years old, caught 43 passes for 482 yards and 3 touchdowns, in addition to returning 60 kickoffs for 1,445 yards.
The Chicago Bears signed Thomas in March to a one year contract.
The club expected Thomas to contribute principally on special groups in 2012, but his departure might clear the way for more junior players to earn register spots such as 2nd-year receiver Dane Sanzenbacher and undrafted rookie Brittan Golden.
Sanzenbacher appeared to face long odds of making the roster when the club brought in Thomas due to the new addition’s abilities on special teams. Golden, in the meantime, seems to have got the attention of the training staff after powerful exercise programs early in training camp.
“It’s understandable,” Sanzenbacher related of Thomas’ call. “Everyone is at a different point in their career, has different things going on outside of football, different private things. We do not know. We come here (and) it is like you and your co-workers. You’re with them for that quantity of time, and some people like to follow other things.”
Thomas sounded prepared for his next phase.
“The younger me would not have thought to retire,” Thomas said. “But as I’ve grown spiritually, it’s permitted me to see a bigger purpose in life. It isn’t about the glitz and the glamour. It’s about my life and making me cheerful, serving out my life’s purpose, enjoying family and doing what I was called to do.”