Fifteen seasons are enough for Lorenzo Alexander.
The Buffalo Bills linebacker, who carved out quite the career for himself after going undrafted out of Cal in 2005, told reporters after the team’s heartbreaking overtime loss to the Houston Texans on Saturday that the game was his last in the NFL.
‘I don’t want to be a guy that’s just too old’
Now 36 years old, Alexander offered an explanation, via Kim Jones of NFL Network:
“I could continue to play on and on and on, but that deters from me being able to be there for my kids,” he said. “Obviously, emotionally, spiritually, and then physically, because the more I play, the more injuries that I will succumb to eventually just because of age and wear and tear. And I really want to be able to be an active dad, hanging out with them, playing with them, taking them on trips. I don’t want to be a guy that’s just old and can’t move too much because I played too long. So I’m happy about walking away. I’m at peace with it, because I’m choosing my kids and my family and my wife, versus not choosing football.”
Alexander and his wife have four children. He is Buffalo’s nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award this year and is on the NFL Players Association executive committee.
One man gang
Alexander’s Twitter handle is “onemangang97,” a nod to his beginnings in the NFL. Coming out of college, he was a 300-pound defensive lineman; he was signed by the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent, and spent all of 2005 on the Panthers’ practice squad. Cut out of training camp in 2006, he signed briefly with Baltimore’s practice squad and was signed to Washington’s practice squad a couple weeks later, where he spent the rest of that season and played on offensive and defensive line and even played some tight end.
In 2007, Alexander signed a three-year deal with Washington, and saw his first-ever regular-season game time in October, and made his first career start in November, at tight end.
He spent 2007-12 as a backup defensive player and special teamer, earning his first Pro Bowl nod in 2012 on special teams.
Alexander left Washington in 2013, spending two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, then was with the Oakland Raiders in 2015.
In 2016, he signed with Buffalo, and immediately became a starter at linebacker. That year he was named to the Pro Bowl a second time, with 12.5 sacks.
He played every game in four years with the Bills, starting 42.
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