ESPN insider Adam Schefter had the news on Brent's decision Thursday via Twitter:
Cowboys DT Josh Brent has decided to retire to focus on major priorities, per his agent Peter Schaffer.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 18, 2013
The retirement will allow Brent to focus on personal issues, namely, a trial for intoxication manslaughter. Back in December of 2012 he was driving a car with teammate Jerry Brown in the passenger seat. Brent had a blood-alcohol content that was, allegedly, 0.18, double the legal limit.
The situation ended with Brown, a close friend of Brent, dead after a horrific crash. Additionally, he tested positive for marijuana twice since then.
The case for the manslaughter charge will begin in September, presumably September 23.
There were rumblings that Brent might be hit with a possible suspension from the NFL or a release from the Cowboys, but it seems that the lineman made this decision on his own.
Ian Rapoport from NFL.com had a quote from Brent himself.
More Brent: "I am at a point where my main focus is about getting priorities in my life in order. Priorities more important than football"— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 18, 2013
All in all, retirement was a good decision by Brent. He may have been forced into it, but it still takes a lot to step away from the game.
However, there are things more important than football.
He could have waited and seen what type of punishment the league and/or his team would hand him. But he didn’t. He took his life into his own hands and decided to make a small change. Nonetheless, it is a turn in the right direction for Brent.
By retiring, he is acknowledging his mistakes and is ready to spend his time devoted to this court case in addition to his other “major priorities."
You only get the opportunity to play in the NFL a limited number of times and there is a case that Brent shouldn’t have retired or just served the presumably impending suspension.
His decision just goes to show that, while fans may not believe it, there are priorities more important than football. Getting a shattered life back together is one of those priorities. It was a mature decision from a person known to make immature ones and is the first step Brent is making to better himself and the people around him.
It was the right decision to make.
Some people just aren’t ready for the league, plus dealing with the fallout of the trial and a professional career may have been too much for Brent. If he stayed in the NFL then it is safe to hypothesize that his immature ways may have stayed as well.
But now all of his time will be dealt with the case and bettering himself, a worthy cause.
Did Josh Brent make the right decision by retiring from the NFL?
There are issues more pressing than continuing a NFL career while weathering a suspension. Ending his time in the league will allow Brent to focus on this important concern without the headache of possibly playing with the Cowboys again.
That part of his life is over and the next phase, hopefully a better one is dawning.
He may spend the next few years in prison, as the courtroom will now decide his fate.
Nonetheless, the decision to retire was undoubtedly the correct one for Josh Brent.