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Mendenhall’s cryptic post and retirement?

Posted by Darren Urban on February 25, 2014 – 12:12 pm

Running back Rashard Mendenhall is going to be a free agent. He’s coming off a season in which he gained 687 yards on 217 carries, a sub-par 3.2 yards a carry. But he scored eight touchdowns, he had to fight through various injuries, and he had a big backer in coach Bruce Arians.

Mendenhall is also a writer. He frequently writes poetry and he also contributes to the Huffington Post. Today he posted (and then tweeted out) a piece called “The Vision.” It’s about Rashard having a vision while sitting on his couch once upon a time, and at the end of the post he notes it was the day after he tore knee ligaments. He talks about having to swim in dark waters towards “The Blessed Mother” even though he did not grow up Catholic.

“Through it all, I knew that after much toil — after I was all out of breath from the arduous swim, after my entire body felt fatigued from unceasing stroking, after I had evaded whatever distant creatures were peering and plotting attack — that undoubtedly I would reach her,” Mendenhall wrote. “And that once I had, this particular journey would be over for good. I would finally be at peace. Soon after to embark on a new voyage, hardened from the experience, and no longer alone, but with light by my side.

“That day I sat on my couch two years ago was the very next day after I tore my ACL in week 17. The journey I envisioned is the two years of rebuilding that would follow. And as I write this, today is the day that the journey is over and I am fully at peace. Eagerly looking to a new way, which lies ahead.”

Interesting, and even moreso when Mendenhall tweeted out an additional message:

There are different ways to interpret it, but certainly, retirement could be one of them. “The journey is over” certainly could mean his career. It of course could mean he’s finally past his injuries and ready to play full speed again, but that doesn’t ring as true. “I am fully at peace” doesn’t sound like a guy ready to head back into the gauntlet of the NFL.


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21 Responses to “Mendenhall’s cryptic post and retirement?”

  1. By dan on Feb 25, 2014 | Reply

    Rashard, There’s already speculation that this is a retirement announcement. But I don’t think it is. I think it’s a spiritually inspired description of the deep angst a pro athlete experiences when having a career-threatening injury; working through that injury; rebuilding the body; and arriving at the other side of the dark tunnel fully restored.
    Although Darren Urban describes your 3.2 ypc average last year as “sub-par”, I disagree with him — your role was almost always to grind out the tough inside yards, and I think you did a great job. I hope you come back with the Cardinals this year, but if you don’t, wherever you go will be blessed.
    Best wishes to you friend.

  2. By beardinals on Feb 25, 2014 | Reply

    Weird. If I were to guess, I’d say he’s trying to project the fact that he’s past his injuries (was his knee also affecting him last year?) and trying to set himself up for a “run” at FA.

  3. By ored on Feb 25, 2014 | Reply

    piecing together things he’s said lately,i would believe he’s ready to move on to something else.i think he plays the game hard,but it does’nt consume him,and the injury just drove home the fact, in a violent game at a punishing position that longevity is’nt likely and better to move on while healthy.good luck rashard,wish you well.

  4. By MostlyRight on Feb 25, 2014 | Reply

    Retiring or not, I don’t see him in AZ next year. I think Ellington gets used more and Taylor will step into the role Mendy filled last year. Maybe pick up a thumper RB in rounds 4-6 as well.

  5. By Andy Kw on Feb 25, 2014 | Reply

    I think RB Rashard Mendenhall still has that explosiveness he once had. With this offseason to get back to full health, he will be better than ever. I thought that it was a bad decision to bring him in last season because he was was coming off injury. This season, if our team decides to bring him back I expect him to be way better. I expect more 10+ yards from him.

    Rashard Mendenhall should not retire unless he sustains another year long injury such as a torn ACL, MCL or even getting multiple concussions. It is better to be safe than sorry. If he does get one of these, which I hope I doesn’t, then he should seriously consider retiring.

  6. By Big Ken on Feb 25, 2014 | Reply

    Hum, so RB in the second or third round? George Atkinson III?

  7. By Darren Urban on Feb 25, 2014 | Reply

    MostlyRight —

    RE: Mendenhall

    I think for the right price, the Cardinals wouldn’t mind him back on the roster. I think, from the Cardinals’ perspective, that’s how they are looking at him.

  8. By Infitzwetrust on Feb 25, 2014 | Reply

    Its so hard to think that he’s just 26. It seems as if mendenhall has been in the league for a long time, but in reality its only been a handful of seasons give or take.

    Regardless of what happens, I can respect his contributions to the team.

    Good luck with what you have planned mendy.

  9. By joe holst on Feb 25, 2014 | Reply

    Reminds me of when Larry Centers had a meltdown when he was the Pro Bowl several years ago.

  10. By dan on Feb 25, 2014 | Reply

    Rashard will be 27 in June. I guess he made about 2 million last year. He’ll probably need to come down to around 1.3 million to get resigned, or else we’ll use Taylor and some late draft pick in his place.

  11. By Dennis on Feb 25, 2014 | Reply

    Ellington, Taylor, Smith- maybe a draft pick- I think Rashard is out.

  12. By Dennis on Feb 25, 2014 | Reply

    Also- what is the deal with the forgotten man -Ryan Williams.

  13. By Darren Urban on Feb 25, 2014 | Reply

    Dennis —

    RE: Ryan Williams

    http://blog.azcardinals.com/2014/02/20/the-future-of-williams-and-washington/

  14. By Berdj Joseph Rassam on Feb 25, 2014 | Reply

    The RYA of under 4.0 is not just a phenomenon of 2013, Mendenhall’s 6 seasons in the NFL have included 4 with an average below 4.0, and he has a career RYA under 4.0 as well.

  15. By Dennis on Feb 25, 2014 | Reply

    Thanks Darren- Williams still around and “low mileage” RB but probably waiting draft/ training camp outcome?

  16. By Coach K on Feb 25, 2014 | Reply

    Rashard Mendenhall is a very intelligent cat, that is for sure. I get the feeling he is finally over his problems with the world, Big Brother, the shadow government that has done terrible things to our country. It sounds to me he is finally at peace and fully realizes there is no sense trying to change things you have no control over. I’m speaking of his controversial comments over the last few years while in the steel city. I think he has grown past that and is now ready to be free, at peace with himself, and comfortable in his own skin. I expect him to come back and play very well. He still has all the tools to be great.

  17. By Eazy E on Mar 1, 2014 | Reply

    Interesting… He’s an interesting dude and ain’t nothing wrong with that. I hope he ain’t talking about retirement but if he is, that is sad. He needs to get his average up to stay with us. He’s actually pretty darn talented on and off the field, but he was really disappointing and I can’t blame it all on the o-line because Ellington killed it.

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