You’ve probably heard by now, but Buffalo Bills veteran cornerback Vontae Davis up and retired in the middle of his Week 2 game against the Chargers. He caught everyone — including his own teammates — by surprise with the move. He attempted to explain his decision with a statement released through social media, but the 30-year-old told The Undefeated that “football is not for me” in a new piece.
“I went to the bench after that series and it just hit me,” Davis said. “I don’t belong on that field anymore.” Davis told defensive backs coach John Butler, “I’m done” and returned to his spot on the bench. The coach didn’t reply. With just 47 seconds until halftime Sunday, the Bills’ defense went back on the field for two inconsequential plays before the half. Lafayette Pitts replaced Davis at cornerback.
Davis has received a lot of heat for the timing of his retirement, especially after signing a one-year, $5 million contract with the Bills in the offseason. However, he’s not about to apologize for putting his health first.
“I didn’t expect them to understand. That moment was shocking to me as well,” he said. “My intention was not to hurt my teammates. In that moment, my intuition was telling me I don’t belong on that field anymore.”
“The crazy thing is that people automatically assumed that something was wrong with me mentally,” Davis added. “I feel great. I haven’t felt like this in … well, in my whole life.”
Davis played eight full seasons in the NFL after being drafted in the first round by the Dolphins in 2009. He was traded to the Colts in 2012. He played part of a ninth season in 2017, limited to four games with a groin injury. This season with the Bills would have been his tenth in the league, before be abruptly ended it at halftime in Week 2.