One of the greatest careers in pro sports history is expected to come to an an end later this month, when Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Joe Montana announces his retirement after 16 seasons in the National Football League. According to sources familiar with Montana’s situation, he’ll make his decision official within the next three weeks.
Montana has not commented publicly about his decision, and could not be reached Monday. But he has finally relented to pressure from close family members to end his career shortly before his 39th birthday June 11.
Chiefs spokesman Bob Moore said Monday he is unaware of a retirement announcement. There has been speculation the last several months that Montana would retire rather than complete the third and final year of his contract with the Chiefs. Montana has been wrestling with the idea during that time, although he gave indications after the Chiefs’ first-round playoff loss to the Miami Dolphins that he planned to return. “The thing is, he gets into the offseason, and he starts feeling good and then he wants to play again,” said one of Montana’s close friends. “I think if it were up to him, he’d still play.”
But Montana has been urged by family members - especially his wife, Jennifer - to leave the game without risking further injury. Montana told Newsday last July he nearly retired after the 1993 season because of a severe concussion he suffered in the American Football Conference Championship Game loss to the Buffalo Bills.
The Chiefs are expected to hold a news conference in the near future.
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