After NFL? Former Players, League Working To Ease Transition Pain

Source: Mike Freeman / CBS Sports

LaVar Arrington spent six seasons in the NFL. He was a ferocious, intelligent and dedicated player. Then it all ended. His career was over. The suddenness of it was almost overwhelming.

Arrington, and a group of players — all of whom once played in the NFL — are part of the NFL’s transition program. The former players in the program undergo extensive training and become certified to assist in the areas of mental and behavioral health. In many ways, this is one of the more important assistance programs football has ever developed.

And it’s growing. Why does the NFL continue to invest heavily in this particular program? Here’s why: Several current and former players say the issue of post-career depression in players is far worse than generally known. These players also say thoughts of suicide in both current and former players is higher than most people know.

Just recently, two members of the transition team literally saved a former player’s life. The player simply couldn’t make the adjustment from football to being retired.

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