Jets Kicker Chandler Catanzaro Loses Millions After Abruptly Retiring Following Piss-Poor Preseason Game
Chandler Catanzaro really didn’t like his poor preseason game the other night for the New York Jets during a loss to the New York Giants. In fact, he hated how bad he was in missing two extra points that the kicker didn’t just decide to get back to practice and work on his craft, but, instead, just decided to retire altogether; seriously.
Taking to Instagram to make the announcement, Catanzaro posted a series of Instagram photos of himself kicking in both college and the NFL, detailing that his time in the NFL has come to an end. Take a peek below at the message from the (now former) kicker.
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What a ride. God has blessed me far more than I deserve. When I finished my career at Clemson, playing in the NFL was just a dream. After five years in the league, it’s time to move on. I can’t say I ever thought I would’ve been a kicker, but I’m thankful that kicking chose me. I thank God for my ability every day, and I’m forever grateful for all the game of football has provided. I’ve been through the highest of highs, the lowest of lows, and everything in between. I’ve learned so much about myself and about life through the game of football. I have no regrets. I worked my tail off and gave my absolute best every time I stepped onto the field. What will remain, however, are the relationships I’ve built along the way. I want to wholeheartedly thank everyone for the prayers and encouragement along my journey. For my parents and my family for tirelessly supporting me and my dreams. For my wife Mieke for her unconditional love and support and reminding me what is most important in life. For all of my teammates. For the coaches who believed in me the most- you know who you are. It’s time for the next chapter of my life. The best is yet to come!
Chandler Catanzaro’s post was as honest as possible, so props to him on deciding that the NFL life just wasn’t for him any longer, while taking the time to appreciate the journey. And, while I’ll never crap on someone else for making a decision that’ll leave them happy, it’s hard to fathom this little detail of Catanzaro’s abrupt retirement — the fact that he’s leaving $2.3 million on the table by walking away, including the $500,000 signing bonus he received after signing a one-year deal this past offseason with the Jets.
Coach Adam Gase said Catanzaro, 28, revealed his plans the day after the game.
“He came in Friday morning and told me he was done, he was retiring,” Gase said.
They had a Pro Bowl kicker last season in Jason Myers, but they refused to get into a bidding war when he became a free agent. He wound up signing a four-year, $15.5 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks, who guaranteed $5.5 million in the first year. The Jets thought Catanzaro would be a suitable replacement, giving him a one-year, $2.3 million contract.
By rule, he must return his $500,000 signing bonus to the Jets.
“I appreciate the fact that he came in,” Gase said. “He could’ve easily rode it out, kind of see what happens. I appreciate him doing that at that time and just being straight with me.”
It’s a straight up move for Chandler Catanzaro to have made his choice and told his head coach face-to-face, because, if we’re being honest, the kicker could’ve just continued to collect hefty paychecks for doing very little work. I mean, it’s not as if the life of an NFL kicker is all that excruciating.
Still, it’s hard for most of us to think that someone would forfeit so much money — but, hey, if your heart’s not into something, there’s no amount of cash that can change that.