Ty Warren Leaving Patriots High and Dry But Making Right Decision for Himself The NFL is a gruesome game. It chews up young men and spits them out, with many of them retired or permanently injured by the time they turn 30.

So good for Ty Warren for saving himself.

Obviously, his decision to undergo season-ending surgery on his torn hip leaves the Patriots in a difficult position, just a month away from the season opener. Rounding out the defensive line around Vince Wilfork won't be easy for Bill Belichick, but really, that's not Warren's problem to worry about.

What Warren cared about was his health. He could have played through the pain this year, much like he did last year, but there was a good chance he'd end up developing arthritis.

"I've been laboring around for about a year-and-a-half," he told CSNNE.com's Tom E. Curran. "To have arthritis and not be able to be me … I'm going to sacrifice one year for the next couple.

"Getting the problem fixed now is the difference between me playing a couple more years, Lord willing, or my hip being arthritic down the line," Warren said.

It's a decision that doesn't leave the Patriots feeling super, but it's a decision they have to respect. Warren told CSNNE.com that he's been dealing with hip issues since 2005, so obviously, his long-term health has been on his mind for quite some time.

That's not new for Warren, either. Back in March, Warren skipped the Patriots' offseason workouts to return to college to finish earning his degree. In doing so, he passed up a $250,000 bonus that he would have received for simply showing up. While that decision may seem a bit crazy, Warren explained at the time that he was looking much further into the future.

"If a lockout was to happen [for the 2011 season], I'm not the type of person to sit out, sit back and go on 10 vacations if I'm not playing football," he said when he arrived at minicamp. "I'm the type of person [who will] work regardless. I've had the opportunity to go back to [Texas] A&M to do some things.

"My thing is this: I've had offers to do things, but I don’t want [to earn a business opportunity] just because I'm a Super Bowl champion, New England Patriot, former A&M Aggie. I want to have credentials when I go in there. I'm the type of player, I want to earn what I got. I don’t want to be [at a job] and be working just because. If a lockout was to happen, I have my degree and [would] be working with my credentials doing what I like to do."

Regarding his decision to undergo surgery, Warren is just as comfortable.

"I made the right decision and I'm in good spirits with it," Warren told
CSNNE.com. "It pains me not to be able to play, but it's something I
had to get done."

Warren is clearly a man who, at age 29, knows what he wants out of life. At 6-foot-5, 300 pounds and with truckloads of athletic ability, he's earning millions in football, but he knows that won't last forever. Anyone who spends five seconds thinking about the dangers associated with playing professional football should be able to appreciate that prescience.