Cliff Avril is at peace with his future

Seattle Seahawks

Cliff Avril should be an example for other athletes as their careers wind down.

Many professional athletes struggle to envision their lives after their playing careers are over. Evidently, that isn’t true for former Seahawks star Cliff Avril. The former defensive end is at peace with the distinct possibility that his NFL career is over.

The Seahawks elected to cut Avril this week after he failed to pass a physical. He hasn’t played since suffering a severe neck injury against the Colts in Week 4 of last season. Originally, Avril expressed his intentions to play professional football again, but now he seems to have changed his tune.

In fact, Avril already has another job. Radio station KJR 950 in Seattle announced it had come to an agreement with the former Pro Bowler yesterday. For his part, Avril seems to be pretty happy about the next step in his career. He isn’t against the idea of returning to the NFL, but he insists he’ll base his decision entirely on what the doctors tell him.

That’s a very refreshing point of view for a player who lost his livelihood in a very sudden fashion. Granted, Avril is 32 years old, but he was still playing at a high level before his injury. The psychological effects of losing your career in one single instant are difficult for many player to overcome.

Avril deserves a ton of credit for keeping everything in perspective. It’s clear that he isn’t going to be the sort of player who flies all over the country in search of a doctor who will clear him to play. Instead, he’s going to do his best to live a productive life without the sport that made him famous. He may or may not settle on radio as his permanent profession, but it’s good that he’s already prepared to try something new.

In a day and age where many professional athletes derive their identities almost entirely from the sports they play, Cliff Avril is a breath of fresh air. He should serve as an example for other athletes on how to transition from professional sports to a more normal career.

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