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Why did Terry Crews quit his NFL career?

Terry Crews at the Draft Day Press Conference
Terry Crews at the Draft Day Press Conference
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Adam Schultz

Terry Crews is best known for his acting career in Hollywood. The 53-year-old is famously known for playing Terry Jeffords in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. He also hosts America's Got Talent.

However, Crews was an NFL defensive end from 1991 to 1996. He was selected by the Los Angeles Rams with Pick 281 back in the 1991 NFL Draft out of Western Michigan college.

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In this clip from the Dan Patrick Show, which aired on September 29, 2017, Crews discusses how good he was at football:

"I was good enough to be in the NFL. I watched a lot of superstars go home. But in regard to being a Pro Bowl player, I was that in my mind, but it just didn't get there. I played defensive end in college. In the pros, I was switched to linebacker. It wasn't something I grew up doing. I was just a tremendous athlete that was put into a spot. If I had played linebacker all the way through I think I would have done better to be honest with you." - Terry Crews

How many seasons did Terry Crews play in the NFL?

Crews back in his college days in Western Michigan
Crews back in his college days in Western Michigan

Across his NFL career, the defensive end played for a host of teams. They include the Rams, Green Bay Packers, San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles.

The 53-year-old played 32 games in total with 16 of them coming with Washington and 10 with the San Diego Chargers. He also played six games with the Rams.

Crews made the decision to retire from the NFL in 1997. He then moved out to Los Angeles to have a go at acting. It is well-known that he had an ambition to pursure a career in the industry and wanted to be involved.

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To say the career change has worked out for him is an understatement. While he is best known for his role on the hit TV show Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Crews has also appeared in several movies.

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These include Friday After Next, The Expendables series and White Chicks, just to name a few. The defensive end played a total of seven years in the league. In his first year with the Chargers, he managed 10 games.

Terry Crews had his best season was when he was with the Washington franchise. Playing as a linebacker, the hulking defensive end played 16 games in 1995 before being moved on to the Philadelphia Eagles.

On April 26, 2022, Terry Crews released his second book entitled Tough: My Journey to True Power. According to his publisher Penguin Random House, he "examines arenas of life where he desperately sought control—masculinity, shame, sex, experiences with racism, and relationships—and recounts the setbacks and victories he faced while uprooting deeply ingrained toxic masculinity and finally confronting his insecurities, painful memories, and limiting beliefs."

His first book is entitled Manhood: How to be a Better Man - or Just Live with One.

Despite playing many years in the NFL, Terry Crews is best known for his work in Hollywood and is one of the most recognized stars on the planet.


Edited by Windy Goodloe
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