Former Gators, Dolphins LB Crowder retires

By Adam Silverstein
August 9, 2011

Former Florida Gators linebacker Channing Crowder, who spent his entire six-year NFL career as a member of the Miami Dolphins, announced his retirement from pro football during a radio interview Tuesday on 560 WQAM in South Florida.

“I’m hanging it up,” he said. “I woke up, saw my pregnant wife, and all the teams that were talking to me were way up north in the northeast, and I said, ‘I don’t want to do it.’”

Channing Crowder on WQAM

Crowder, cut by the Dolphins less than two weeks ago, was appearing on the Sid Rosenberg Show when he went public with his decision to call it quits.

“It’s just not worth it. People say it all the time about retirement. I’m not hurting for money. I’ve saved all of my money. I’ve got plenty of money saved. Me and my wife will live great,” he said. “I looked at my wife and I was like, ‘I’m going to be a family man now.’”

Only 27-years-old, he was selected with the No. 70 overall pick in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft and was a starting inside linebacker all six years he played in Miami. Crowder failed to make the “big plays” that are expected of NFL starters and amassed just 469 tackles, 2.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and one interception in 82 career games.

A protege of former Dolphins MLB Zach Thomas, Crowder began his career on the outside but eventually replaced Thomas as the middle linebacker when he was cut from the team. He missed more than 14 games due to a number of injuries which usually had to do with his knee, something he first weakened during his senior year of high school.

Crowder delayed his enrollment at the University of Florida by a semester while rehabbing his knee after surgery and only played for the Gators for two seasons (2003-04) before deciding to turn pro after his sophomore year.

Former LSU head coach Nick Saban, who took the top job in Miami that year, was familiar with Crowder from his SEC days and selected him even though there were concerns about the health of his knee. Crowder ended up outlasting Saban, who returned to college in dramatic fashion after just two years with the Dolphins.

A true locker room guy who was a leader both on and off the field, Crowder is infamous for his quick wit, engaging personality and quotable answers to the media’s questions. He joked in 2007 that he “couldn’t find London on a map” when Miami faced the New York Giants during the NFL’s first-ever regular season game outside of the United States.

“I know Italy looks like a boot,” he said. “I know London Fletcher. We did a football camp together. So I know him. That’s the closest thing I know to London. He’s black, so I’m sure he’s not from London. I’m sure that’s a coincidental name.”

He also got into an on-the-field altercation with New England tackle Matt Light, traded verbal barbs in 2010 with New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, and had plenty of other quotable lines during his NFL career.

Crowder made waves this past offseason when he insinuated on his radio program that he had sold his jerseys while at Florida. He later revised that statement, noting that he and his mother still have all of his jerseys in their possession.

3 Comments

  1. Daniel M. says:

    I guess going to the Jets is out.

    • Tractorr says:

      I hate to bad mouth a former Gator but he sure has lost a couple steps and it was time. Hopefully, he will be able to expand his radio show. He is more talented than football alone.

  2. SC Gator says:

    Damn… there goes the best quotes in pro ball.

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