Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent announced his retirement this week right before the start of training camp.
Brent, 25, is facing charges of intoxication manslaughter in a December 8 one-car accident in his Mercedes that killed passenger Jerry Brown, a Dallas Cowboys practice squad member. The trial on this charge is scheduled to begin in late September although plea bargain negotiations are reportedly underway. Brent’s blood alcohol level was reportedly 0.18 at the time of his arrest, more than twice the legal limit. He was recently in and out of a Dallas jail for a positive marijuana test which violated his probation agreement.
In a statement, the former University of Illinois star said he needed to reorient his priorities. “This is the right decision for me, and something that I have given a lot of thought to. I am at a point where my main focus is all about getting the priorities in my life in order.”
Brent, who was still being carried on the NFL team’s roster, could face up to 20 years behind bars if convicted on the intoxication manslaughter charge.
If or when he resolves his legal issues, Brent might be still young enough to attempt an NFL comeback. By retiring now, he also avoids any disciplinary action that the league might have imposed as a result of the December fatal car accident. Drafted in the 2010 NFL supplement draft, He appeared in 39 games for Dallas (five starts) with 31 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and one forced fumble.
According to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, “[Josh Brent] wants to concentrate on where he should be concentrating on in his life. This allows him, in my mind, to do that… He’s certainly got the ability to play. Let’s focus on where it’s got to be focused, and that’s him getting his life in order, off the field and this is what this does. He wants to.”