Ryan Swope retires from NFL, gives statement, may try to return

Christian Petersen

After suffering yet another concussion in OTAs, he is putting his NFL career on hold.

Now when the announcement came that the Arizona Cardinals had placed receiver Ryan Swope on the reserve/retired list, I didn't have all the detail (and I was heading out the door with my family). I assumed that it meant that he chose to retire, as why else would the team be able to place him on the retired list?

It turns out that he did in fact retire from football because of another concussion he suffered, which he said occurred in OTAs.

His agency group tweeted out his statement, and Swope himself tweeted the statement he wrote as a note on his phone.

It said this:

"As a result of concussion I suffered during OTAs, I was advised by doctors that there were serious risks in returning to play football at this point. It has been a lifelong dream to play in the NFL but my long-term health interests outweigh my current goals for football. Because of that, I am electing to retire from the game for now and then reassess my future after this season. In the meantime, I plan to return to Texas A&M to pursue my degree. I want to thank the Arizona Cardinals organization for the opportunity and their support. I wish the team much success this season."

I am puzzled as to how he could have suffered a concussion in OTAs (no pads), but I have no reason to simply not believe him. His roster spot opens up, although the team already picked up a receiver in Robby Toma.

This sad story seems much too much like Steven Threet, the Arizona State quarterback who retired from college football after he couldn't shake one concussion he suffered at some point in a game, and the following spring he was still having issues. It is probably a smart move, but you have to imagine that he is completely done with the NFL. Even if he comes back, will the Cardinals (who still retain his rights) or any team want to take a risk on a player who couldn't even make it out of OTAs, when pads aren't even worn?

As for the Cardinals, it is a waste of a pick, but since he was drafted in the sixth round, it isn't a huge loss in terms of the draft.

Personally, I am glad that he is going with the smart decision. He has a long life ahead of him and it is good to see someone making a sound, intelligent decision.

It's possible that he may come back to the Cardinals, as they retain his rights for the length of his contract (four years), but don't hold your breath expecting him to come back.

More from Revenge of the Birds:

Keep up with Cardinals news and opinions when you are not on the site. Follow Revenge of the Birds on Twitter at @revengeofbirds and "like" us on Facebook. You can follow me individually at @senorjessroot.

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