Haloti Ngata Wants To Continue Playing

Haloti Ngata wants to continue his playing career, and he wants to continue it in Detroit, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes. The soon-to-be 34-year-old defensive tackle has flirted with retirement in the past, and just a few months ago, Birkett himself said that he expected Ngata to call it a career this offseason.

Haloti Ngata (vertical)

And that may well have been the case if Ngata had not suffered a torn biceps that ended his 2017 campaign prematurely. In an interview with WXYT-FM, Ngata said, “I think if I finished the year healthy I would have been a little closer to probably retiring, but I want to finish the season so I think I want to keep on playing. And definitely I loved being able to be here and help Detroit have more dominance in this league. We’ve had winning seasons, I just want to continue to build this franchise and get it to where it can be a dominant franchise and a great team. So I definitely want to be here, I definitely want to keep on playing, but we’ll have to see once free agency hits.”

As Birkett observes, the Lions allowed just 74.6 yards rushing per game when Ngata was healthy, but after Ngata’s injury, the Lions allowed 129.7 yards rushing per game. Ngata noticed the drop-off and said that, had he been healthy, he may have been able to help push the Lions to the postseason.

Ngata will become an unrestricted free agent in March, and despite his advanced age, and the fact that he has not played a full season since 2011 due to suspension or injury, his pedigree and his 2017 performance will surely land him a job somewhere. He has not been the same player for Detroit that he was for Baltimore for nine seasons — which is to be expected — but he clearly has something left in the tank, and he does not want his career to end to an injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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4 comments on “Haloti Ngata Wants To Continue Playing

  1. nickolai

    Minimum salary with nothing to lose…high reward or cut him lose.

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    • dugdog83

      Agreed I would want him back at league minimum. Good DL vet that could teach Robinson. That guy could be great.

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  2. If he wants to come back he will get a lot more than league min from every team in the league. I see a 1 year 4-6 million deal. The guy was still fantastic against the run and Detroit’s run defense showed just how badly they needed him after he went down. The Lions have the money to spend and there are way worse ways to spend it.

    They will likely only resign one of Hayden or Lawson and need to make a very tough decision on Ziggy. I bet they tag him and hope to work out a 5y/$60m deal that is good for both sides

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    • daman2032

      Ziggy depends on next head coach and the defense the lions run. I don’t think ziggy can play 3-4 outside linebacker so he may be allowed to leave.

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