Now when you consider the offseason contract dispute, it may make a bit of sense. Detroit Lions star Damon Harrison is pondering retirement.
Rumors started to swirl throughout the week leading up to the week 17 matchup with the Green Bay Packers that it could be the final game in Damon Harrison’s career. The Detroit Lions stellar defensive tackle was teary-eyed after the game addressing the media just mentioning he’s tired of always hurting.
I mean, we can’t really blame the man. The game is so violent. Every single play is like a car wreck, especially for Snacks Harrison playing as an interior defensive lineman. He’s being double-teamed by two offensive linemen his size or larger on nearly every single play.
This isn’t taking away from other positions, but besides playing as a running back or a linebacker, there isn’t a more violent position on the field.
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Sure, safeties hit hard, but linebackers and linemen are right in the middle of contact every single play. Playing as a corner, especially if you are an elite one, sometimes your jersey doesn’t even get dirty because quarterbacks don’t even want to throw your way.
If Harrison does indeed call it a career that may influence the Detroit Lions 2020 first-round draft choice, the Lions will be picking third overall. They may decide to lean towards Auburn’s Derrick Brown over the likes of Andrew Thomas, or Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa.
I expected the Lions to move on from A’Shawn Robinson, but perhaps the decision to come from Harrison will also influence that roster move. Detroit may try and retain Robinson for a year while they manage their future options.
Here was Harrison after the game courtesy of the Detroit News;
"“I’ve given everything I can give,” Harrison said. “Nobody is more disappointed about this season and my performance than I am. I’m hard on myself, man. Like I said, I’ve given everything to every team I’ve played for. I don’t feel bad if that’s the decision. I’ve got a lot of thinking to do this offseason. I’m going to seek some different options and try to figure it out because I can’t be that guy that I want to be and I know I can be then I’ve got to hang it up because everybody deserves that.“When you can’t make the plays you’re used to making, and you go back and watch the film and you know you don’t have any excuses, I think it’s just a situation where my mind is saying yes, but my body is saying …,” Harrison continued. “I just have got to fix it.”“All year I’ve just been hurting,” Harrison said. “It’s been something new every week and I’m really just tired of hurting, trying to fight through it.”"
We can’t blame these players for trying to preserve their bodies for life after football. Sure they make millions, but is it worth it if you play long enough, sustaining unrepairable injuries and facing chronic severe pain?
The offseason contract extension makes complete sense now. Harrison was extended through the 2021 season but was granted additional guaranteed money. Harrison made $7.5 million via a signing bonus plus $1-million in base salary this season. A raise from his expected $6.5 million before the reconstruction.
I wish Harrison all the best. Hopefully, after the dust settles, he can find some relief and perhaps give it a go one more season. I think Detroit is a few players away from competing, and a healthy Snacks in the middle of that DL would be significant to that defense’s success in 2020.