Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones shared a video graphic about his NFL combine performance with two strong messages Saturday.
The 2015 GIF offered comparisons to convey just how impressive the former UConn standout's 12'3" broad jump really was.
It was an honor and privilege to play in the NFL but it came at a regrettable cost I did not foresee. In my opinion, no amount of professional success or financial gain is worth avoidable chronic pain and disabilities. Godspeed to the draft class of 2023.
— Byron Jones (@TheByronJones) February 25, 2023
"Much has changed in 8 years. Today I can’t run or jump because of my injuries sustained playing this game. DO NOT take the pills they give you. DO NOT take the injections they give you. If you absolutely must, consult an outside doctor to learn the long-term implications," Jones wrote on Twitter.
The 2018 Pro Bowler sent one more message that seemed to allude to his potential retirement, along with a note to the future of the league. His warning comes just two days before the next scouting combine, which runs from Feb. 27 to March 6.
"It was an honor and privilege to play in the NFL but it came at a regrettable cost I did not foresee. In my opinion, no amount of professional success or financial gain is worth avoidable chronic pain and disabilities," he wrote. "Godspeed to the draft class of 2023."
Jones, 30, missed the entirety of the 2022 season after being placed on the physically unable to perform list. An offseason Achilles surgery prevented him from passing a physical to return to the Dolphins.
He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys and finished his rookie season with 67 combined tackles and nine pass deflections through 11 starts in 16 games. He signed a five-year, $82 million contract with the Dolphins in 2020.
To date, Jones has recorded four interceptions, 444 combined tackles, three quarterback hits, 11 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and 57 pass deflections across 109 career games for the Cowboys and Dolphins.
Former NFL players share Jones' sentiments
According to Miami Herald reporter Barry Jackson, Jones is not retiring — but he is expected to be cut by the Dolphins. When Jones does retire eventually, he won't be alone in his struggle with the lasting impact of the game. Earlier this month, a group of 10 former NFL players filed a lawsuit accusing the league of falsehoods and legal violations in denying disability benefits. The potential class-action lawsuit was filed Feb. 9 to a Baltimore federal court.
Like Jones, the plaintiffs claim football left them with lingering physical injuries. Some of the former players also say that cognitive injuries from the game continue to complicate their lives. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL Disability Board are named as defendants.
The suit also alleges that doctors who examine players for the league's disability plan have a financial interest in denying claims to ensure future referrals from the program.
Chris Seeger, a lawyer who served as class counsel in the separate $1 billion settlement of NFL concussion claims, spoke to ESPN about the recently filed suit.
"They're a small fraction of the players who have been wronged by the NFL's disability plan," Seeger said. "These former players deserve far more from an organization worth billions of dollars than a sham process in which there's no chance of success."