When the Jacksonville Jaguars signed Clint Session to a five-year, $25 million contract with $11.5 million guaranteed in free agency last year, they hoped for a hard-hitting linebacker who would play the bulk of 80 regular-season games over the life of the deal, plus playoff games.
They got nine.
Session suffered multiple concussions in his first year, and was still dealing with post-concussion symptoms this fall, which landed him on the physically unable to perform list.
I’m sad for him.
He is a good guy and a good football player who can really thump. I know he’s expressed concern about what may wait for him in life beyond football as a result of the concussions. I hope he gets one more chance to play, though teams are likely to be wary of him considering his history. I try not to tell guys when to retire, but he'd probably be wise to move on.
The signing for general manager Gene Smith was part bad luck and part bad projecting.
Session’s physical style with the Colts could have provided reason to believe his injuries would increase, not that the ones he’d suffered in Indianapolis were aberrations. He got banged up but played through stuff until a broken arm and a dislocated elbow in 2010 limited him to five games.
In April, he spoke with Tania Ganguli, then of the Florida Times-Union, about his experience in a concussion treatment program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
“We want to be out there as players,” Session said. “If you’re not feeling nothing, you want to be out there. But just because you’re not feeling nothing, doesn’t mean something’s not going on in your brain because you had brain trauma. That’s a brain. It’s nothing that you can replace. That’s it. You only get one of those.”
Whether he’s got more football ahead of him or not, here’s hoping he’s got a clear head while doing it.