On the wisdom of resigning a job you can no longer do

Food for thought in today’s Washington Post column by Jerry Brewer on the resignation of NFL player Andrew Luck. Know the limits of your body. Know when you’re no longer feeling the joy that brought you here. Know when the money isn’t worth it. The decision isn’t “selfish”; it’s “understandable” and “wise.”

…for [Andrew] Luck, it was closure. As he grinned and threw spirals, he was quietly letting the game go.

“I was thinking, ‘This is the last time I’ll throw the ball at Lucas Oil Stadium in a Colts uniform,’ ” he admitted.

A week later, his decision became official. Luck called it a hard decision — “the hardest of my life,” he said — but it was also a clear one. He is only 29 years old, but football has wrecked his body and stolen his joy. Over the past four years, his injuries have been brutal and relentless: shoulder sprain, torn cartilage in the ribs, partially torn abdomen, lacerated kidney, concussion, torn labrum in his right shoulder and now the calf and ankle problem that hasn’t healed.

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“For the last four years or so, I’ve been in this cycle of injury, pain, rehab, injury, pain rehab, and it’s been unceasing, unrelenting, both in-season and offseason,” Luck said Saturday night. “And I felt stuck in it, and the only way I see out is to no longer play football. It’s taken my joy of this game away.”

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…one of the game’s brightest young quarterbacks walked away from perhaps $250 million in future earnings when you factor in the remaining three years of his contract and at least one more mega-extension that probably would’ve been worth more than $40 million per season.

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That’s not a selfish choice. After all Luck has been through, it’s understandable. And wise.