Willie Colon is 32 years old playing his tenth year in the NFL but all the success was accompanied by injuries.
Injuries that are now too much to over come as Wednesday, halfway through the season, the Jets put Colon on season-ending injured reserve.
Colon signed a veteran minimum one-year, $870,000 contract with the Jets meaning he’ll be a free agent after 2015, his 10th and perhaps final season in the NFL.
“At my age and my injury history, it’s easy to get thrown to the back of the bus, and kind of washed away. But he allowed me to go out there and compete. Colon said of Todd Bowles and this summer’s training camp.
A self made man out of the Bronx Willie made it through Hofstra University on Long Island (the Jets former home) to the NFL and earned a super bowl ring with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He joined the JETS in 2013 as the out right starting right guard.
This year colon beat out, Brian Winters, Brent Qvale, and Oday Aboushi (who was later cut and starts for the Texans) for the starting job.
Brian Winters was named Colon’s backup, according to first year head coach Todd Bowles.
“He was more aggressive out of the ones that were competing for the position, He wanted it more. He came out and played like it. And he proved it. He came back to camp in shape. He was the hungriest. He’s shown that he didn’t bust as many assignments as the rest of them. He played tougher and he played more physical than the rest of them.” Todd Bowles said of colon speaking to the media at the time.
Willie Colon’ latest injury nemesis has been his knees, dating back to last season, that required time off practice days. Colon missed a lot of spring practices, because of his knees, but still managed to win the starting job.
Before the 2014 season, Colon had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. It has required regular treatment since.
Injury history: Colon has torn his Achilles tendon, ripped his triceps/biceps, and had endured long post-surgery rehab and now his knees have had enough punishment for three lifetimes.
Colon has cleaned up his act this season as the past three seasons, including 2012 with the Steelers, Colon led all NFL guards in penalties, according to Pro Football Focus. He had 12 in 2012, 12 in 2013, and 14 in 2014.
“Football has given me everything,” “In some way, I feel in debt to it. Because it’s changed my life, my social status, my economic status, my whole core as a person. It’s weird, because you have those moments where you’re like: ‘What do you do after this? Who are you after this?’ At some point, you’re going to have to find out who you are.”
Life after football:
In June of this year three Jets players began planning for the future by participating in the NFL’s broadcast boot camp training sessions at NFL Films headquarters: offensive guard Willie Colon, cornerback Antonio Cromartie, and defensive lineman Leger Douzable.
Colon and Cromartie have 10 years experience in the NFL. Colon is 32 years old, Cromartie 31. Douzable, 29.
Teams, Contracts and Injuries timeline;
Colon was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth round (131st overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft.
Super Bowl XLIII championship team member.
Re-signed with the Steelers after the 2008 season for a one-year deal worth $2.2 million.
While working out during the offseason in June 2010, Colon tore his Achilles tendon, forcing him to miss the entire 2010 NFL Season.
On July 29, 2011, Colon signed a five-year deal worth $29 million with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens, Colon tore his triceps and missed the rest of the 2011 season.
He was released from the Steelers on March 13, 2013.
The New York Jets signed Colon to a one–year contract on March 15, 2013.
Jets re-signed Colon to a one-year contract worth $2 million on March 19, 2014.
In 2015 Colon signed a veteran minimum one-year, $870,000 contract with the Jets.
-wiki, press conferences, nj .com statement, New York Jets.
New York born and bred, James is a decades long New York Jets Fan and writer dating back to their Superbowl days. A frequent guest on sports talk shows and a former U.S. Marine.