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Eugene Monroe, A 29-Year-Old Former Top 10 Pick, Retires From The NFL

Eugene Monroe, the No. 8 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, announced today that he is retiring from the league. 

The former Virginia Cavalier announced his decision in an essay for The Players' Tribune. 

Here's part of it:

Today, I am making my exit from the game of football. I’m leaving the sport I love — the sport that has consumed my existence for the last 18 years — to start a new life. I’m nervous, but I feel like I’m ready for whatever comes next. I have three beautiful children and an amazing wife, and they will be with me as I take these next steps.


I’m only 29 and I still have the physical ability to play at a very high level, so I know that my decision to retire may be puzzling to some. But I am thinking of my family first right now — and my health and my future.

The last 18 years have been full of traumatic injuries to both my head and my body. I’m not complaining, just stating a fact. Has the damage to my brain already been done? Do I have CTE? I hope I don’t, but over 90% of the brains of former NFL players that have been examined showed signs of the disease. I am terrified.

Monroe played for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2009-13 and the Baltimore Ravens from 2013-15. He played in 93 NFL games, starting 90 of them.