Did you know that the Bears fifth round pick from last year LB Marcus Freeman was forced to retire? You probably didn’t. I didn’t until today.
The 6’1″, 239 pound linebacker Freeman was diagnosed with an enlarged heart this off-season.
Freeman saw action in all four preseason games with the Bears, but was released before the start of the regular season. He was later signed to the Buffalo Bills practice squad and ended up finishing the season on the Houston Texans practice squad.
The former Ohio State star linebacker drew some interest from teams in the NFL after the season ended, but decided to sign with the Indianapolis Colts. A Colts team physician told him he had a enlarged heart valve after he had a physical in February. He realized from this news that he would never be able to play football again.
Freeman had this to say about the situation he was in: “It was hard to hear that football was being taken away, but life is much bigger than that for me, sooner or later you’re going to be done. I have enjoyed playing the game since I was six years old. Even though I can’t play anymore I still have a love and a passion for it. I’ll just turn the page to the next chapter in my life.”
“I think you have to find the positive in everything, God has a plan for everybody and this was his plan for me. You can’t have football as the head of your life because that can be taken away at any moment. My family and religion definitely comes first in my life. I can still be successful without playing the game. I’m excited and motivated about starting my new life.”
Freeman is three classes away from obtaining his master’s degree in sports management and has no regrets. He is going to work as an undergraduate assistant on the Buckeyes football coaching staff this season with Jim Tressel.
Although Freeman wasn’t a Bear for very long you still have to feel for the guy. It’s a bad break. You hate to say young guys have short careers in the NFL over medical problems. Look at Eddy Curry from the Chicago Bulls of the NBA, once he learned he had a enlarged heart his playing time went down and he’ll never be the same player he used to be.
all quotes from daytondailynews.com