Released by the Detroit Lions on March 8, offensive guard T.J. Lang has an important decision to make regarding his professional football career. After an injury-filled 2018 season with the Lions, including suffering (at least) the fifth concussion of his 10-year career, Lang is considering retirement.
In an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio, Lang mentioned that he isn’t rushing towards a decision. “I’m just trying to take it slow and figure it out,” Lang said regarding his future.
Other NFL teams have expressed interest, but Lang wants to address his present and future health. Injuries obviously hurt his availability on the field, but the mental impact they have on him are just as significant.
“It really starts to sink in that you start to think, ‘I don’t know if I want to go through that again,’” said Lang.
Although Detroit released Lang prior to the third year in his contract, in which he was due to make a base salary of $8.25 million, the veteran lineman holds no ill will towards the team and the way they conducted business.
“I had a good, open line of communication with with the Lions,” he said. “We were very interactive with each other about where we were heading. I think we ended that relationship on really, really good terms.”
At this point, Lang is simply not ready to commit to a return nor a retirement. Sign on for another season and he may regret it. Announce his retirement, and he may not have any other opportunities lined up.
“I want to kind of figure out to see if I have a plan set in place because the last thing I want to do is just say, ‘I’m done with it’ and then, in a couple months, I’m just going crazy because I don’t have anything lined up.”