Colts' Kenny Moore Says He Wanted to Quit Football During Time with Patriots

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIMarch 19, 2021

Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kenny Moore (23) drops back into coverage during an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)
Zach Bolinger/Associated Press

Kenny Moore has been a regular contributor to the Indianapolis Colts since joining the team in 2017, but he almost didn't make it that far. 

Moore joined the New England Patriots after going undrafted out of Valdosta State, and he wanted to leave the game as a result of his time with the franchise, saying that the team operated "more like the military" and was "exhausting." 

"That was one of the low spots of my life," Moore told Tyler Dunne. "Because that's really when I felt like, 'I'm probably not built for the league.' And having that feeling of, 'You're not good enough,' that's a bad feeling. You feel like you don't belong. I lost all of my joy and passion. I didn't even want to play football. I didn't want to go to work anymore." 

Moore said he was "depressed" during his time in New England, and he often ignored his friends and family when they would reach out as he dreaded the day he would get cut from the team, though he credited Malcolm Butler, Eric Rowe and Elandon Roberts with keeping him afloat. 

The Patriots organization has long been lauded for winning six Super Bowl championships—tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for most in the NFL. But the workload, often referred to as "the Patriot Way," has deterred several big-name players from joining the squad. 

Linebacker Cassius Marsh has expressed similar feelings to Moore, and Eagles tackle Lane Johnson said the Patriots were a "fear-based organization," per Dunne. When longtime Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford wanted out of the organization, he was willing to play "anywhere but New England," according to Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston. 

Moore was cut by the team in September 2017, but the long-term effects of his time there didn't end with his employment. Per Dunne, he "was not sure if he'd ever find his joy again" and had regular meetings with the Colts' director of player engagement and went to therapy daily. 

Years later, it's all coming together for him. 

The 25-year-old had a career year in 2020, making 14 starts and appearing in all 16 games. He made four interceptions and returned one for a touchdown, and he recorded 80 tackles (68 solo) and three quarterback hits. He appeared on 92 percent of the Colts' offensive snaps last season. 

Suffice to say the Colts are happy he stuck around.