Michael Bennett explains why he's retiring from NFL

75756A5E-120A-4932-810C-2FD980DB785E

After 11 NFL seasons, Michael Bennett is calling it a career.

The 34-year-old gave his reasons to Louisa Thomas in The New Yorker.

Bennett said the pandemic forced him to focus on "essential aspects of life," which helped him reach the decision of wanting to remain home with his family. It wasn't until a few days ago where he was ready to announce it.

He also would like to spend more time working to combat racial inequality, which the story details.

Still, it wasn't an easy decision for the defensive end as he referred to it as the “death” of a part of himself.

Bennett played for five NFL teams with Seattle being his longest stint at five years in the middle of his career. He also played for Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Dallas and New England. Last season he started with the Patriots before he was traded to the Cowboys in late October after it was clear he wasn't much of a fit with the Patriots.

The three-time Pro Bowler was very consistent as he had five seasons of at least 8.5 sacks.

“Retiring feels a little like death of self, but I’m looking forward to the rebirth — the opportunity to reimagine my purpose,” Bennett wrote on Instagram. “I would like to thank my wife and children, who have sacrificed so much for me to succeed. I’m looking forward to supporting them the same way they have me these past 11 years. I have never been more at peace in my life. As the great Toni Morrison said: ‘Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.'"

Retiring feels a little like death of self, but I’m looking forward to the rebirth - the opportunity to reimagine my purpose. ⠀ I would like to thank my wife and children, who have sacrificed so much for me to succeed. I’m looking forward to supporting them the same way they have me these past 11 years. I have never been more at peace in my life. ⠀ As the great Toni Morrison said: “Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.“

A post shared by Michael Bennett (@mosesbread72) on Jul 21, 2020 at 3:37am PDT