Friday, May 20, 2005
In my nineteen years of watching football, I have seen many players make a point to retire with a certain team. I never noticed any players doing this with the Pats. For so many years, I longed for greatness in the Patriots organization that would inspire such loyalty.
That day has come.
Media Credit: Patrick Schneider
New England cornerback Otis Smith celebrates an interception and touchdown by teammate Ty Law during the second quarter of Super Bowl XXXVI at the Louisiana Superdome.
I wanted to retire as a Patriot because the greatest success of my career came in a Patriots uniform, Smith explained in a Patriots Football Weekly interview. The thing I really liked about New England is that the fans always appreciated my talents and what
I brought to the table, win or lose. They appreciated the effort more than the actual winning itself.
We were successful together, he said, and when people ask me what happened with me and football, I decided to retire with the team I won with and the team I got a lot of
exposure with. We won a lot of games together and lost a lot of games, but we stuck together. There is a team concept in New England, not just from the standpoint of the players but expressed throughout the whole organization. I have developed a feeling in my heart for the way that the Patriots do things and that is something I want my to be tied to for the rest of my life. When people ask me who I played for, I say the New England Patriots. I guess you could say I'm a Patriot."
It's waive or goodbye
If Tedy Bruschi decides to play again, the Patriots will ask him to sign an injury waiver to protect themselves from liability. There's probably no way around it, unless the Patriots want to open themselves up to a major lawsuit, but the scope of the waiver could be narrowed to something very specific. Even if Bruschi signed a waiver, was injured, and had his career end, he would have a few alternatives for collecting income, including a one-time $275,000 disability payment from the league, workers' compensation, severance pay, and disability insurance.