It wasn’t too long ago that Bryan Stork was snapping the ball to Tom Brady, but after a series of concussions, the 26-year-old’s NFL career ended much sooner than he would have liked.
Stork, who was the Patriots’ starting center in the team’s Super Bowl XLIX win, explained in a recent interview that hanging up his cleats was the right decision for his future.
“Listen, I’m not a doctor,” Stork told The Hattiesburg American. “I don’t research those things. I’ve been through those things and I had to make the best decision for myself. And every player, at some point, will have to make that decision.
“I just felt like it was the right time to walk away. Just for a better life. For my future family. Kids, things like that.”
Stork dealt with concussions dating back to his collegiate days at Florida State. He was placed on the short-term injured reserve list to start the 2015 NFL season, which limited him to just eight games in the campaign.
In the summer leading up to the 2016 season, New England agreed to trade Stork to the Washington Redskins in exchange for a conditional 2017 seventh-round draft pick. Five days after the agreement, Washington revoked the trade after Storked failed his physical, which sent him back to New England. The Patriots released him later that day.
Stork officially announced his retirement from the NFL back in March, and he looked into real estate as his next venture. The former fourth-round pick couldn’t shake his love for the game, though, as he eventually ditched his real estate gig and now serves as a graduate assistant for the Southern Mississippi football team.
“I didn’t enjoy what I was doing,” Stork said. “It was just tough. I’d be sitting there when I’m supposed to be doing real estate stuff and I’m going over plays and going over the script for the day. So I was like, ‘All right, I need to be in football.'”
Stork, of course, was hoping for a much lengthier NFL career, but he appears content with where he’s at now.
“Obviously, we all want to play 10 years, but it doesn’t always work out like that,” Stork said. “But I’m very blessed the way things did work out. It was hard at first because you want to keep playing. But you know what, since I can’t play no more, I want to be part of these guys and help them be better players.”
Thumbnail photo via Chris Humphreys/USA TODAY Sports Images
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