Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker surprisingly retired on Tuesday at the age of 26.
Locker, the 8th-overall draft pick in 2011, made $US12.5 million and played 30 games in his four seasons. While he lost his starting job in 2014 and was a free agent, his career seemed far from over.
In a statement announcing his retirement, Locker said he had lost “the burning desire necessary to play the game for a living.”
Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times caught up with his father, Scott Locker, and got a handle on what Locker plans to do post-retirement.
It sounds supremely relaxing.
Locker lives in Ferndale, a Washington town that’s 16 miles from the Canadian border. According to Condotta, Locker plans to remodel his house (which he bought from his grandparents in 2011), hang out with his wife and two little kids (a two-year-old daughter and eight-month-old son), and spend some time on Locker Room Fitness, a local gym he bought with Tampa Bay Buccaneers punter Michael Koenen in 2014.
While the house is being remodeled, he’s living at home with his parents, Condotta reports.
Locker’s dad explained his son’s reasoning (via Seattle Times):
“For most of us, it would be a thing where you would probably continue to go down the path he was on. But that’s the difference between Jake and most people. He’s got a way about him that’s different. There will be a lot of people that will not agree with the decision that he’s made. But you’ve got to be pretty proud of a guy that can stand up and say he’s not feeling it anymore and be able to walk away from it. It would have been easier to just come back and sign on with a team and play rather than make the tough call to say, ‘I’m going to walk away and find myself something that makes me happier than this is, right now, anyway.'”
Here’s the Locker family in 2013. Lauren, his wife, played softball at the University of Washington when Locker was the quarterback there:
Locker grew up in Ferndale, and is something of a hometown hero there. In 2010, the mayor of the town told the Herald of Everett, “If Jake decided tomorrow that he was running for mayor, I’d be out of a job.”
Retiring early is becoming a trend in the NFL. San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis gave up $US7.8 million and called it quits at age 30 before free agency. Jason Worilds of the Pittsburgh Steelers retired at 27 this week so he could go to work for his church.
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