Rarely do you see this. Chicago fans have to be nodding their heads in agreement–it was good for the Bears to bail on contract talks with their veteran center of 13 years. Olin Kreutz. The man is a beast, but it seemed as if something was just off… Who knew it was his desire to play football?
Sure, the 34 year old veteran has been struggling with a sprained MCL, and I can truly empathize…being 34, and having a sprained MCL. It sucks. Kreutz called his agent on Monday and Tuesday expressing a consistent sentiment–he was unsure if he could continue in his role as the starting center for the New Orleans Saints. He met with head coach Sean Payton, who is also having MCL problems, and had surgery on Monday after being popped on the sideline in Sunday’s loss with Tampa Bay–Payton pushed hard for Kreutz to stick around…enjoy the potential spoils. Mickey Loomis, the Saints GM, suggested the same.
Kreutz just couldn’t do it. Yesterday he called in, stating:
I just know, it’s not in my heart. I’m not going to keep collecting a check if I know deep inside me I can’t bring what I need to bring to play every week.
Without a doubt, Kreutz wanted to finish his career with the Bears. And it seems that he has been wrestling with emotion and playing all season on pride. That’s never enough for a man of principle…but neither is quitting on a team which has chosen to depend on you. That having been said, this is a tough call and he has made it. If he doesn’t want to play anymore, then he shouldn’t play anymore.
Regardless, the Saints let him know that if he has a change of heart after getting some rest, they want him back in the line up. Kreutz’s agent doesn’t feel that will happen. The Saints will designate Kreutz as having “left the team.” This will allow them to drop him from the roster and release their obligation to his contract in due time.
So. That leaves the question: Who will center for the Saints? For the time being, it will more than likely be second year man, Matt Tennant, from Boston College. He’s a mountain of man, and probably excited for the opportunity.