OG Jacob Bell has decided to retire after eight seasons in the NFL.
Bell spent the past four seasons with the Rams and began his career with the Titans in 2004. He signed with the Bengals last month.
“In the NFL we’re modern-day gladiators and we sell our soul to the game of football for a price, but what is that price? Everyone has a price and for me I wanted to make sure that I don’t have any regrets about my future in regards to what I’ve done in the NFL,” Bell told Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “At this point I can walk away with no regrets and left on my own terms where the NFL didn’t force me out and I made that decision on my own. There were a lot of factors and discussions with my family and myself and I think it was the right decision to be made.”
Bell, 31, started all 12 games he played in last season for the Rams. In his career, he played in 109 games with 100 starts.
"One of my biggest concerns when it comes to the game in general is my personal health. One thing that's obviously on the minds of a lot of people lately is brain research and all the stuff that's going on with that. One of the big things that I thought about when I was considering this is how much do I love the game?” Bell told Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. “How much can they pay me to take away my health and my future and being able to be with my family and just have a healthy lifestyle?
“It's just crazy to see how someone like Junior Seau took his own life over — God knows what he was really struggling and dealing with. But you have to believe it came from the game of football,” Bell added. “I want to get out before the game makes me get out, where I can get out on my own terms, and I can limit the amount of stress and negative impact that the game would leave on me."