NFL tight end for the Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins, Julius Thomas, 30, announced his retirement from football to pursue his doctorate in psychology. Thomas is looking to anchor his research on CTE in order to investigate “the effects of contact sports on brain trauma and neurobehavioral performance.”
Thomas felt this next chapter in his life was a calling: “I knew I wanted to help and knew that this would be a great way to help football players, to be that person who could help them understand what we all are at risk of. I felt inside that this was stuff I needed to understand.”
Julius Thomas was drafted out of Portland State in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. Thomas was two-time Pro Bowl selection whose breakout season came in 2013 where he scored 12 TDs on 788 receiving yards.
He wrote in The Players’ Tribune: “While making the decision to no longer play the game is difficult, I’m also incredibly excited about what’s next: Studying therapy and becoming well trained in it so that I can help people heal from their emotional and mental pain.”