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NFL notes: Broncos' Moffitt quits team, citing lack of passion
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

John Moffitt wasn't unhappy with a lack of playing time in Denver. He quit the NFL because he'd lost his love for the game and was tired of risking his health.

The third-year guard from Wisconsin called the Broncos from his home in Seattle this week to notify them he wouldn't be returning to the team following its bye.

Then he announced on Twitter that he was calling it a career, saying, "Football was fun but my head hurts-haha kidding roger goodell. I'm on to new things, thanks to everyone along the way!!!"

The Broncos put him on their reserve/left team list on Tuesday when they activated center J.D. Walton from the physically unable to perform list.

They have five days to formally release Moffitt, who left more than $1 million on the table, including about $312,500 for the remainder of this season and $752,500 in non-guaranteed salary in 2014.

Moffitt, who signed a four-year contract for nearly $3 million after Seattle made him the 75th overall draft pick in 2011, said he knows teammates and fans don't understand how he could forgo the fame and fortune of pro football.

"I just really thought about it and decided I'm not happy. I'm not happy at all," Moffitt told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Seattle. "And I think it's really madness to risk your body, risk your well-being and risk your happiness for money.

"Everybody, they just don't get it and they think it's crazy. But I think what I was doing is crazy."

Browns WR says Ravens S choked him

Browns wide receiver Greg Little accused Ravens safety James Ihedigbo of choking him during a pileup in Cleveland's 24-18 win Sunday.

After a running play in the first quarter, Little found himself on his back at the bottom of a stack of players. He said Ihedigbo, who was on top of him, put his hands around his neck and choked him.

Little was able to free himself from Ihedigbo's grasp, popped to his feet and then flung the Baltimore player's helmet, drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

"I know the ref was saying, 'Let go of his facemask,' but he was choking me, so I'm not," Little said. "There's a thin line between football and just morals, and I'm not going to let a guy spit in my face, choke me, [disrespect] my family or anything like that. It's just how it is. I don't have to say anything to the ref.

"At that point, he's crossed the line."

Speaking to reporters Wednesday in Maryland at the Ravens practice facility, Ihedigbo denied the charge.

"I would never personally cross a line or play outside the rules in any manner," the safety insisted. "I have my hand on his chest. … I mean, the refs would have seen it. Other players would have seen it. And I would have been punished for the play as well. That didn't take place."

Ihedigbo added, "… It looks to me like he knows that he lost his cool and doesn't want the league to take it out on him and fine him for throwing my helmet, so this is what kind of has come of it."

Around the league

Rams • St. Louis postponed quarterback Sam Bradford's knee surgery, which had been scheduled for Tuesday, due to swelling. Coach Jeff Fisher said no new date has been set for the procedure to repair a torn left ACL, but anticipated it would be soon.

Texans • Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will be Houston's interim head coach with Gary Kubiak out indefinitely after suffering a mini-stroke this weekend. Phillips, a former head coach for Dallas, took over after Kubiak was taken to the hospital and he ran Houston's practice on Monday.

Saints • New Orleans moved linebacker Jonathan Vilma to injured reserve, ending his season — and possibly his career — only three days after he had returned for his first game of this season. Vilma began the season on short-term injured reserve because of an arthroscopic procedure in August on his left knee, which has troubled him through multiple surgeries over the past two-plus seasons.

Bills • Team president Russ Brandon said rookie starting quarterback EJ Manuel should be ready to return to play at Pittsburgh on Sunday. Manuel was cleared for contact after missing four games with a sprained right knee. —

Week 10 schedule

Thursday

Washington at Minnesota, 6:25 p.m., NFL Network

Sunday

Detroit at Chicago, 11 a.m.

Philadelphia at Green Bay, 11 a.m.

Jacksonville at Tennessee, 11 a.m.

Cincinnati at Baltimore, 11 a.m., Ch. 2

St. Louis at Indianapolis, 11 a.m.

Seattle at Atlanta, 11 a.m.

Oakland at N.Y. Giants, 11 a.m.

Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 11 a.m.

Carolina at San Francisco, 2:05 p.m., Ch. 13

Denver at San Diego, 2:25 p.m., Ch. 2

Houston at Arizona, 2:25 p.m.

Dallas at New Orleans, 6:30 p.m., Ch. 5

Open: Cleveland, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, New England

Monday

Miami at Tampa Bay, 6:40 p.m., ESPN

NFL notes • Third-year guard decided during Denver's bye week, "what I was doing is crazy."
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