This story appears in the Feb. 12, 2017, issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. To subscribe, click here.
Nick Foles stood in thigh-deep water in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range, surrounded by pine trees, holding a fly-fishing rod in his right hand. Rainbow trout flittered to the water’s surface, nipping at the dry flies he was floating. This was late July 2016. Foles was 27 and alone, at the bottom of a canyon, on a trailhead named Forks of the Kern, and he was facing the most significant fork of his life: He’d just decided to retire from pro football after four seasons, in Philadelphia and St. Louis.
Foles lost cell service when he went into those mountains, but first he’d sent a handful of texts to family, friends and his agent confirming his decision. He planned to spend a few days alone with his thoughts, sleeping in a tent on the side of the river with the water rushing by, eating fish and steak and drinking cocktails with friends, then floating down the Upper Kern without any destination in mind, NFL or otherwise.
On the five-hour drive in, he’d run through all of his reasons for retiring, explaining to his brother-in-law, Ryan Moore, that he’d lost his passion for football in his last season, with the Rams, who’d benched him and then cut him
Article source: https://www.si.com/nfl/2018/02/06/super-bowl-2018-eagles-patriots-nick-foles-doug-pederson-howie-roseman
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