JC Tretter believes his NFLPA role resulted in him drawing no interest

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Yes, center JC Tretter has retired from football. He made the decision only after drawing no interest, for months, as a free agent.

In an interview with Alex Prewitt of SI.com, Tretter basically confirms the suspicions previously articulated by former teammate Joel Bitonio that Tretter’s work as NFL Players Association president contributed to the premature ending to his career.

Tretter had knee problems last year, but nothing that would keep him from playing.

“Guys would be like, ‘Oh, like how are your knees doing?’” Tretter told SI.com. “And I always said, ‘My NFLPA job is gonna end my career well before my knees end my career.’”

He said that his salary expectations weren’t exorbitant. He wanted more than the minimum, but “well below the value I bring.” He also said that no team expressed curiosity regarding his knee, with no physicals or MRIs requested.

Yes, he believes he was shunned for his union activity.

“I got a call in mid-June, and it was like, ‘I didn’t realize how many people you pissed off,’” Tretter said.

The NFL denied any retaliation against Tretter, because of course it did. The league referred SI.com to the various teams when asked about Tretter’s theory that he’s being ignored because, when it comes to union matters, he refuses to look the other way.

“There are teams right now that I would say are desperate for a center based off how camp’s going,” Tretter told SI.com. “Still no calls.” He added that, if someone calls now, he’ll say no. He’s instead embracing his ability to focus fully on serving as NFLPA president.

“I would argue I’m going to accomplish more in the next 18 months than I would have ever gotten close to playing football during that time,” Tretter said.

That’s bad news for the league. Maybe, as the league could soon learn, the best way to deal with a problematic NFLPA president is to keep him busy by keeping him gainfully employed.

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