STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Vontae Davis: 'I had more of an out-of-body, spiritual moment'

He was leaving $5 million on the table, and the game wasn't even over yet. But for cornerback Vontae Davis, ...

Posted: Oct 2, 2018 9:32 PM
Updated: Oct 2, 2018 9:32 PM

He was leaving $5 million on the table, and the game wasn't even over yet. But for cornerback Vontae Davis, none of that mattered. He was done.

Davis, 30, sent shockwaves through the NFL -- and his own locker room -- when he abruptly ended his career on September 16, retiring at halftime of the Buffalo Bills' game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Football (American)

NFL

Sports and recreation

Sports organizations and teams

"Never have seen it ever -- Pop Warner, high school, college, pros -- never heard of it, never seen it," Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said after the game. "It's just completely disrespectful to his teammates."

In an interview on camera with CNN's Brooke Baldwin, Davis responded to Alexander's comments.

"I come from very humble beginnings," Davis said. "My mother was addicted to drugs, my father an alcoholic. I grew up in some very traumatic situations. I witnessed my father being shot multiple times by his brother. And when you come out of situations like that, you're just not considered a quitter.

"I don't think I quit. I think I feel that, as I walk away from a game that no longer serves me mentally, physically, and emotionally. That's what I would tell people who say I quit. Most people don't know who I am as a person or what I've been through to achieve the success I have."

Davis' older brother, Washington tight end Vernon Davis, took to Instagram a couple of days later after the news, writing, "It's hard to see him retire, as I thought he would be in this league longer than me. I feel like I retired because we're so close and I look at him as he's my son even though he's my younger brother."

READ: Meet the NFL's Canadian renaissance man

'I no longer belong on a football field'

Davis described the exact point of when he decided to hang it up.

"I had more of an out-of-body, spiritual moment, and my intuition was telling me that football was no longer for me," Davis said.

"It was very emotional, and I was very vulnerable in that situation to deal with -- with playing the game for so long. It was very emotional for me. I had to come to the conclusion that football was no longer for me, and that was really hard to deal with at the moment."

Before signing a one-year deal with the Bills for this season, Davis, a two-time Pro Bowler who was a first-round pick in 2009, had played for the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts.

But in the midst of Buffalo's game against the Chargers in Week 2, Davis, in his 10th NFL season, said he no longer felt like he belonged in that environment anymore.

"In that moment, the warrior mentality that I had popped," Davis explained. "I came to the conclusion that I no longer belong on a football field."

When he made his decision, Davis texted his wife, saying simply he was done.

"She's been around me her whole life," Davis said. "It was also emotional for her. This was a situation I've never been in, and my intuition moved me in that way.

"That's the decision I agreed upon with myself and I didn't really expect nobody to understand, and it was a decision I personally made with myself."

Davis said he had some of his teammates at his house afterward, explaining his decision to them. He said those who were there supported him.

READ: The streak is over: Cleveland Browns

'It was never about the money'

Part of the choice to retire was physical, as Davis cited the issue of players dealing with the potential of brain injuries, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (commonly known as CTE).

"All of that stuff goes into consideration," Davis said. "I no longer wanted to sacrifice my body where it didn't benefit me moving forward."

Davis said he's "pretty sure" he'll miss the game, but he has future plans, including opening a wellness center in Miami. He's working on a children's book, which is about how he overcame obstacles while growing up. He and his wife also plan on starting a family.

As to putting his body ahead of his $5 million salary?

"It was never about the money," he said. "I made a decision that was concerning my health moving forward after the game of football. In today's society, I think a lot of people go to work every day to collect a check.

"I'm not that type of person. I did what was best for me and my health moving forward."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312712

Reported Deaths: 7223
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21445257
Hinds20264414
Harrison17785308
Rankin13548278
Jackson13401246
Madison10055217
Lee9959173
Jones8361163
Forrest7638152
Lauderdale7191240
Lowndes6361144
Lamar620686
Lafayette6164118
Washington5318133
Bolivar4796132
Oktibbeha460698
Panola4550105
Pearl River4493145
Marshall4393103
Warren4371121
Pontotoc419372
Monroe4089133
Union408876
Neshoba4022176
Lincoln3944110
Hancock376886
Leflore3487125
Sunflower335590
Tate332084
Pike3290105
Scott314973
Alcorn311268
Yazoo310269
Itawamba299277
Copiah296065
Coahoma293979
Simpson293888
Tippah287468
Prentiss278960
Marion268780
Leake265573
Wayne262241
Adams261882
Grenada260085
Covington256281
George246748
Newton246161
Winston226881
Tishomingo225467
Jasper220748
Attala214173
Chickasaw206957
Holmes188672
Clay184654
Stone181833
Clarke177879
Tallahatchie177840
Calhoun169732
Yalobusha162936
Smith162134
Walthall133845
Greene130333
Lawrence128323
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry125838
Amite122842
Carroll121728
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis106932
Tunica104626
Claiborne102230
Benton99025
Humphreys96133
Kemper95328
Franklin83423
Quitman79916
Choctaw76018
Wilkinson66830
Jefferson65428
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 529446

Reported Deaths: 10930
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson763031516
Mobile40850804
Madison34622501
Tuscaloosa25701451
Montgomery24289585
Shelby23367247
Baldwin21035307
Lee15822169
Calhoun14469313
Morgan14266279
Etowah13806352
Marshall12185222
Houston10533280
Elmore10029205
Limestone9948150
Cullman9640193
St. Clair9589239
Lauderdale9407239
DeKalb8814185
Talladega8199175
Walker7214277
Autauga6914108
Jackson6801111
Blount6635136
Colbert6288134
Coffee5498117
Dale4820111
Russell438438
Chilton4258111
Franklin424782
Covington4111117
Tallapoosa4004150
Escambia393076
Chambers3555123
Dallas3543151
Clarke350661
Marion3105100
Pike310177
Lawrence299798
Winston273672
Bibb260463
Marengo249064
Geneva247676
Pickens233659
Barbour230756
Hale222276
Butler215869
Fayette212062
Henry188744
Cherokee184145
Randolph179241
Monroe177040
Washington167039
Macon158850
Clay155156
Crenshaw151957
Cleburne148341
Lamar141534
Lowndes138553
Wilcox126729
Bullock122941
Conecuh110129
Perry107526
Coosa106928
Sumter104332
Greene92334
Choctaw60424
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 67°
Columbus
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 67°
Oxford
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 66°
Starkville
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 68°
We can expect plentiful sunshine Thursday with nice, warm temperatures. But going into the late afternoon and early evening, a brief disturbance could bring a quick round of showers and perhaps a thunderstorm through the area.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather