Former Falcons linebacker Paul Worrilow announced his retirement yesterday. The move apparently surprised Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, which makes sense, since the Ravens just signed him on Friday.
The Falcons defense was in an interesting place in 2013. Given a slightly depleted linebacker corps, two undrafted free agents, Worrilow and Joplo Bartu, snuck onto the 53 man roster.
Both Worrilow and Bartu carried a substantial load in their rookie campaigns, and Worrilow incredibly stuck around for another three seasons. Worrilow may have gone from starter to special team and reserve, but he never gave up that team-first mentality that landed him in Atlanta in the first place. He drew a fair amount of misplaced criticism because Mike Nolan insisted on misusing him. The Super Bowl loss was Worrilow’s last game with the Falcons, (He was active but didn’t accrue any stats.) He’d go on to play for the Lions in 2017, and after signing with the Eagles in 2018, he missed the entire year recovering from a knee injury.
Worrilow started a total of 44 games for the Falcons. He wasn’t the flashiest player, but heart still has to count for something in this league, and Worrilow truly was the embodiment of that principle. He was proud to play for the Falcons, even when they weren’t a good football team.
It sounds like Worrilow is just making a decision to focus on family. I’d imagine he’s also thinking about his future health and whether it’s really worth it to try to stick in Baltimore.
Here’s to you, Paul.