Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Ex-Jet Moore turns down 'Boys, retires
By Rich Cimini
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- After a 24-hour flirtation with the Cowboys, former Jets G Brandon Moore decided Wednesday to retire from the NFL after 10 seasons -- all with the Jets.
Moore told ESPNNewYork.com he agreed to a one-year, $2 million contract on Tuesday, but he had a change of heart after a sleepless night. After a decade with one organization, Moore said he didn't want to uproot his family this late in training camp.
"I was wrestling with it all day, going back and forth with my wife and family," Moore said by phone. "Finally, we decided, 'Let's go ahead and do it.' I didn't sleep at all. I was wrestling with it. I realized it was too late in the game to uproot my family. I called my agent and said, 'I can't do it.'"
In his heart, Moore was leaning toward retirement throughout the offseason. He said he'd consider the right offer. There was no contact with the Jets. When the Cowboys called, he listened because of his deep admiration for coordinator Bill Callahan, formerly the Jets' offensive line coach. In the end, Moore -- financially secure -- picked family over football.
"The only reason I considered Dallas was because of Bill -- and the Cowboys' name," he said. "It would've been cool to play for the Cowboys, but my heart wasn't 100 perent into it."
It was a magnificent career. Moore made the Jets as an undrafted free agent, switching to the offensive line after playing defense in college. He cracked the starting lineup in 2004 and never left. He was the Jets' Iron Man. He started 142 games, including 137 in a row. He made one Pro Bowl and was part of one of the best offensive lines in recent memory, 2009, when the Jets led the league in rushing.
Moore got choked up as he tried to put his career in perspective.
"I've been truly blessed," he said. "I don't have any regrets about my career."
He paused, struggling for words.
"I gave it my all," he continued. "I'd like to be known as a dependable guy who showed up for work every day and gave it his all. ... I bleed green and white. I was proud to be a Jet. I'll always be a Jet."
Unfortunately, part of his legacy will be the Butt Fumble, when QB Mark Sanchez ran into an unsuspecting Moore last Thanksgiving on national TV.
"It's amusing to me to me that people think it's so amusing," Moore said. "The way I look at it, I don't think it should have any link to my career. I don't think it stands for what I was as a player for 10 years. I really don't give it much thought."
Moore is part of a small fraternity. He spent his entire career with one team, enjoying personal and team success. The highlights, he said, were the playoff runs in 2009 and 2010, when the Jets reached the AFC Championship Game.
He could've returned for one last ride, a last shot at a Super Bowl, but he resisted the lure of the Cowboys' star.
"I played the game for 10 years. I lived in a house. I didn't have to go from team to team, so this would've been a big transition for me,'" he said. "You really don't grasp it until you actually agree to something. Then it was like, 'Wow, I have to leave tomorrow for California.'"