Morgan plans to rejoin Saints
Updated: January 26, 2009, 7:51 PM ETBy Pat Yasinskas | ESPN.com
TAMPA, Fla. -- Linebacker Dan Morgan, who retired last year after a series of injuries, said Monday he is planning to make a comeback in 2009.Morgan told ESPN.com Monday he has filed his reinstatement papers with the NFL and plans to rejoin the New Orleans Saints, who still hold his rights. Morgan has said he has talked to the Saints and they seem interested in him playing.
Morgan, 31, retired last May before ever playing a game for the Saints, who had signed him as a free agent. Morgan spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Carolina Panthers, but his time and effectiveness there were disrupted by a string of injuries. Morgan's bad luck started in his rookie season (2001) when he broke his leg. Repeated problems with concussions and other injuries followed. Morgan has had at least five reported concussions since his college days at Miami and that factored into his decision to retire. Morgan had been cleared for a return to football for 2008, but the Panthers released him and he signed with New Orleans. After spending much of the offseason program with the Saints, Morgan said he retired because of health issues and family concerns. But Morgan said Monday he's completely healthy and is eager to make a return to the Saints. He also said his other injury problems played more of a role in his initial decision to retire than the concussions. "I feel better than I have at any point since before my rookie season in the NFL," Morgan said by telephone from Charlotte, N.C. "I've been working out very hard and I feel great. Last year, I was down in New Orleans and I was coming off shoulder problems and my wife was pregnant with our third child and back in Charlotte. It just didn't feel like the right place or the right time and I made the decision to retire. But the year off has refreshed me and I'm very anxious to get back out there." Although studies have suggested concussions can lead to long-term health problems, Morgan said he has consulted with numerous doctors and doesn't see any problem with playing again. "Yes, I know I've had some concussions," Morgan said. "But I think the public has kind of blown that out of proportion. They don't know my exact situation. My concussions weren't severe. I never had the bad headaches or the memory loss that they talk about in those studies. I've seen all those studies and talked about them at length with my doctors and I feel good about the situation. "Believe me, I have three young children and if I were at all concerned about this, I wouldn't be going back on the field," he said. Morgan is about to open two restaurants in Charlotte -- a coal-fire pizza restaurant and a diner are scheduled to open in February. Morgan has spent much of his time working to get those businesses ready. But he has also spent much of his time off working out.
Paul Jasienski/Getty ImagesDan Morgan, who retired last year after a series of injuries, has filed reinstatement papers with the NFL.