MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 17: Linebacker Mike Vrabel of the Kansas City Chiefs speaks to members of the media after leaving court ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on May 17, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As the NFL lockout remains in place mediation was ordered after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners after labor talks between the two broke down in March. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
When did former Kansas City Chiefs LB Mike Vrabel know he was going to retire? He didn't make the final decision until Monday morning when he made the official announcement but he tells ESPN Radio in Dallas that he had an inkling after the Chiefs playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens that he may have just played his last game.
"I thought in January when we lost to the Ravens that I had played my last down in the NFL. Whether the league resumed in March, I don't know if I would have felt any better or any worse, but I'm comfortable with this decision. It's certainly exciting, it's a new challenge, it's something that's going to give me something to do and something I want to do."
People are allowed to change their minds but it wasn't that long ago that Vrabel expressed interest in returning to the NFL. Though he seemed cautious about what he said, he indicated in an April interview with the Kansas City Star that he would "love to come back" if the Chiefs, or anyone, would have him.
In his retirement announcement, he cited the inability to adequately put in the work during the offseason as a reason for calling it quits so perhaps he simply got tired of it all by July.
Check out the full interview with ESPN Radio in Dallas here.