During Week 2 of last season, Buffalo Bills cornerback Vontae Davis had an epiphany. He no longer enjoyed playing football. And we say during Week 2, we mean actually during – like in the middle of the game. The Bills were losing 28-6 to the Los Angeles Chargers, and Davis decided he had had enough.
He didn't return for the second half of the game, telling his team he was retiring. And now, one year later, Davis says he has no regrets.
"Looking back, it's one of the best decisions I've made in my life, honestly," Davis told ESPN's Brendan Meyer. "Because I did something that I knew was the best thing for me."
Davis felt something was off after making a tackle. He realized he wasn't mentally into the game anymore.
During halftime of that Week 2 matchup, Davis called his brother, Washington Redskins tight end Vernon Davis, then his wife, Megan Harpe, who was at the game. He shared his decision with both of them. Vernon asked if he was joking, and Megan met him at the couple's house to share celebratory tequila.
Megan opposed Davis going to Buffalo in the first place. She heard bad things about the organization, but Davis wanted to give it a try.
"I just need to prove to myself that I can't do it anymore," he told his wife that summer.
The cornerback found that proof quickly. The decision to retire made sense physically, mentally, and financially. Over ten seasons, Davis made $33 million – and he was retiring with his health intact.
Davis acknowledged that his move was unorthodox, saying plenty of people thought he was crazy. But he feels fine and is at peace with his decision.
His next challenge? Entering the world of business. Davis plans to open VZONE, a holistic wellness spa, in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, next month.
Perhaps it's only fitting. Davis found comfort in retirement – now he can help other people experience their comfort, too.