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What do NFL players do in the offseason?

Can Matt Ryan and the Falcons finally deliver on their promise? (Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire)
Roar Rookie
4th May, 2018
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Whether a player’s season ends without making the playoffs or after winning the Super Bowl, they have around six months before they have to start playing football again. After cleaning out their lockers, what do they do?

Let’s take a look at some of the goings-on of the offseason while we wait for our teams to regroup and play again.

Finding new teams
Some players have to search for a new team, or they are solicited by other teams who could use their talents.

Kirk Cousins left the Washington Redskins and is now a quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. Richard Sherman was released by the Seattle Seahawks and later signed with their former division rival, the San Francisco 49ers.

Danny Amendola said goodbye to the New England Patriots and will also play with a former division rival, the Miami Dolphins.

Getting surgery and rehabilitation
Football is a tough, physical sport. All that tackling, diving and running can result in injuries that must be rehabilitated or surgically repaired.

Players generally like to keep this information quiet, as it may affect the value of a potential contract renewal or a new signing. But everyone gives their body a rest and attends to what ails them.

Getting in shape, eating right
There is probably a week or two where footballers treat themselves to fast food they skipped during the season. But pretty soon it is back to work and getting in shape.

A healthy diet and exercise routine can help lower body fat, increase muscle mass and maintain flexibility to help avoid future injuries.

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Football players don’t diet and exercise the same way we do. Their goals are much more focused on football, so they eat higher-protein, lower-carbohydrate meals. They don’t care so much about how much they weigh.

Some players need bulk, while others need to develop strength and dexterity. They eat the foods that help them achieve this and participate in the appropriate training regimens.

Pursuing other passions
Getting away from football for a bit might refresh their bodies and minds and make them better football players when they return the following season. For example:

Justin Tucker, a kicker for the Baltimore Ravens, is also an avid opera singer, who can sing in multiple languages and has been invited to perform at the Baltimore Symphony.

Outside linebacker Von Miller of the Denver Broncos owns a 3000-square-foot chicken farm. He spends time with his family and his chickens in the offseason and plans on doing it full time when he retires from football.

Jimmy Graham, a tight end who is starting with the Green Bay Packers next season, enjoys being a daredevil off the field as well. He is a stunt pilot who posts videos of his escapades on social media and plans on competing in stunt flying in the future.

Often, players pursue their love of art or spend time with the charitable organisations they have fostered or created. It gives them the opportunity to reach out and give back to the communities where they live or where they grew up.

Some return to their former colleges and cheer on the basketball teams or other sports that are in season.

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Others take on additional jobs to earn extra income or to try to develop careers for when they can no longer play football. Football careers are, sadly, only one injury away from being over. One player might be in the league for 20 years or more, while another may not make it through one season.

The offseason is their time to take care of their bodies, spend time with their families and look at the world beyond football.

NFL fans are, no doubt, supportive of these endeavors, but what is most important to them is that the players come back next season and try to win it all for their home team.