By Josh Katzowitz
San Diego’s Kris Dielman has been one of the best offensive guards in the league, but after suffering a scary seizure on the Chargers flight home from their Oct. 23 contest vs. the Jets, Dielman is close to announcing his retirement, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.
It’s not a stretch to believe that this decision, which could be announced as early as Thursday, is a direct result of suffering a concussion early in the fourth quarter against New York -- it went undiagnosed at the time -- and then being allowed to fly back with the team afterward.
On the flight, Dielman suffered a grand mal seizure, and a few weeks later, he was placed on the IR list. That incident led the NFL to place mandated officials in league press boxes to monitor potential head injuries.
The Union-Tribune writes that Dielman -- a four-time Pro Bowler -- wants to play, but that he won’t on the advice of doctors who are looking to his future. Of course Dielman wants to play. After colliding with Jets linebacker Calvin Pace, a wobbly Dielman waved off an official who had approached to make sure he was OK. The Chargers, who expected Dielman to return in 2012, said at the time that they handled Dielman’s injury appropriately.
If Dielman does, in fact, retire, he’ll leave a $4.5 million salary (and a $1 million bonus) on the table, and considering he was scheduled to be a free agent after the 2012 season, he could have made tens of millions of dollars more.
To Dielman, though, apparently his health is worth more than that.
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