New England Patriots receiver Donald Jones just signed three-year, $3.41 million contract back in March. Nearly five months later, he announces his retirement.
The 25-year-old suffers from a kidney disease, which has worsened to the point that he can no longer continue his career. Jones made the announcement via Twitter on Wednesday (August 7), linking to an interview he conducted with Fox Sports.
“As some of you may know, I have been suffering from a kidney disease throughout my entire life. As a result of recent advances in my disease, I am no longer able to pursue my career in the National Football League,” he was quoted. “Playing in the NFL was a lifelong dream of mine, and though I have the opportunity to continue my career, stepping away from the game is absolutely best decision for my family and for my health.
“While it will be difficult, I am comforted by the love and support of my family, friends and doctors and am excited about my continued involvement with the various kidney foundations I’ve worked with in raising awareness for health, nutrition, preventative medicine and kidney disease.
“I want to thank the Buffalo Bills organization, especially Chan Gailey and Buddy Nix, for allowing me to pursue my NFL dream and Coach Gailey for changing my life. I also want to thank the New England Patriots and their doctors for assisting my medical team in fighting this disease,” Jones concluded.
Jones suffers from a kidney condition called IgA nephropathy, which makes IgA-a protein — that helps the body fight infections — settle in the kidneys. Those deposits may cause the kidneys to leak blood and sometimes protein in the urine.
The Patriots released him on July 19, and he had set out to sign with another team, but ultimately decided to call it quits.
Jones caught 82 passes for 887 yards and six touchdowns in a three-year career. Last year was a big seasn for the young NFL pro, in which he recorded 41 passes for 443 yards and four touchdowns in only 12 games.