Calling it a career is never easy, especially when you play at a high level in the greatest sports league on Earth.
That’s what Clint Boling had to do Monday, as the Bengals offensive lineman announced he was retiring from the NFL at the age of 30. Boling was set to enter a contract year and possibly get one last big payday, but he’s opted instead to hang up his cleats. Though it was far from an easy decision to make, his health and family were ultimately the deciding factors.
In an interview with Bengals.com, Boling revealed that he was dealing with a blood clot that forced him to miss OTAs, and he eventually decided that retiring was the best decision for himself and his family.
“There were talks about the risks associated with playing again,” Boling said. “When it came down to do it, ultimately I couldn’t wrap my head around it with the family and two kids. There’s no doubt in my mind if I’m 22, 23 years old with no wife, no kids and it’s just me playing football, I’m making a different decision. But at this point in my life, I have more important things to take care of than myself.”
Boling also opened up about how he wants to be remembered following an eight-year career that saw him lock down the left guard spot and never leave any doubt that position was set for the Bengals.
“A guy that came in and did his job every day,” Boling said. “Do what needed to be done to win. No extra motivation needed. Do everything I could to try and win a game. Just do my job and handle my business every single day.”
It’s sad that Boling had to end his career sooner than expected, but it sounds like this won’t be a lingering issue moving forward as he ventures into the next chapter of his life. It’s no secret that football is a demanding sport that often leaves player with crippling post-career injuries and issues, so hopefully, this early retirement will help ensure Boling doesn’t face those challenges.