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Monday, June 8, 2009
Morgan retirement a relief


Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

As I headed to New Orleans Saints minicamp last week, the guy I looked most forward to seeing was linebacker Dan Morgan.

I had the luxury of covering Morgan for his first seven NFL seasons when he played for the Carolina Panthers and truly believe he's one of the most genuine people I've ever met.

That's why I put in a request to interview him Friday. Truth is, I didn't really want to interview him. I just wanted to say hello and catch up on old times. I never got the chance.

By Friday afternoon, coach Sean Payton announced that Morgan, who uncharacteristically never showed in the locker room, had strained a calf muscle and I just rolled my eyes and thought, "Here we go again.'' But, thankfully, Morgan put a stop to it Monday afternoon.

Agent Drew Rosenahus announced Morgan's retirement via his Twitter account.

I'm going to say the exact same thing I said just about a year ago when Morgan announced his retirement the first time. This is the best day of the offseason.

I say that because, despite all of Morgan's previous talk about how healthy he was and how much he wanted to return to football, this is best for him. And his family.

Yeah, Morgan had a right to play football if he wanted and he was the only one who could really make that decision. From a distance, it was easy to sit back and think about the fact he's had at least five concussions. And think about his long-term health, his wife and children. It was easy to think it was crazy for him to even step on a football field.

But none of that mattered as long as Morgan thought he should be playing football. Now, he sees it differently and that's a wonderful thing. It's always sad to see a great player walk away.

But, in this case, there's joy because Morgan was able to walk away before it was too late.