Former San Antonio Wolfpack, Los Angeles Reign, and Memphis Bandits receiver Jaylen Adams announced his retirement today. This was something effectively considered to be already true, after Adams has been yet to play in the EFL since Season 7 due to both a lack of interest from teams and injury troubles. But today, it was quietly put out through Adams’ representation, the Solas Agency, that the S1 first round pick and two-time EFL champion would be officially ending his playing career.
Adams’ career took multiple turns along the way, from being an early draft pick, to one of the league’s first marquee free agents, to winning it all with the Reign in Season 3 and Season 5, to his slow fall from grace that ended with a quiet retirement.
His final season, S7, ended with a loss in the Eastern Conference Finals in which he only put up 2 catches for 17 yards as the Memphis Bandits’ third wide receiver behind Lance Swift IV and DeAnderson Sabathia, Jr. After the season, however, it was revealed that Adams had been struggling with injuries in both his knees for the second half of the season - injuries that would require serious medical attention. With Adams unlikely to be back in time for the start of training camp in Season 8, and his one-year contract with the Bandits expiring, he stayed a free agent for the next year while rehabilitating. Despite his efforts to return, he wasn’t on any EFL team’s radar due to age and his knee injuries slowing his once-elite speed.
And so here we are today. Approximately 4 seasons later, and after an unsuccessful attempt to return to return to the game through arena football, Jaylen Adams has officially retired from football at a small, quiet press conference.
How does he feel about it? “I feel at peace,” Adams says. “I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to, and maybe I didn’t live up to the promise I might have had. That would have bothered me earlier in my career. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past few years it’s that I need to accept what’s in the past. I’ve learned a lot. I’m lucky that I haven’t had the serious, life-changing injuries that some others have. It’s time to move on to another phase in my life.”
(+8 carryover for Desmond King)