Washington signed Halliday as an undrafted free agent following this month’s NFL draft, but John Keim of ESPN reported Friday morning that Halliday may be retiring before his NFL career even begins.
Connor Halliday has rehabbed since November to prepare himself for a professional football career, but gave up the sport on the eve of his first NFL practice.
Washington recently signed Halliday, who was not drafted, to a free-agent contract, but the quarterback is no longer listed on the team’s roster ahead of this weekend’s minicamp.
John Keim of ESPN reported Friday morning that Halliday may be done playing football permanently.
According to Keim’s source, Halliday “lost his love for football.” Later in the day, Halliday confirmed to 700 ESPN Spokane that he considers his playing career to be over, saying he is healthy and injuries did not influence his decision.
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In addition to the injury that ended his college career, Halliday suffered a ruptured spleen in high school and a lacerated liver in his redshirt-freshman year at WSU.
Halliday had a record-setting career at Washington State, and finished as one of the Pac-12’s most prolific quarterbacks. In 35 career games, he threw for 11,304 yards and 90 touchdowns, leading the Cougars in 2013 to their first bowl game in a decade.
The timing of his decision is curious considering the work the quarterback put in to reach this point after breaking his ankle against USC on Nov. 1.
Halliday was invited to the NFL Combine but did not throw there, waiting instead to conduct his own pro day at WSU on April 1, following an extensive rehab process in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Halliday threw well at his pro day, and Washington general manager Scot McCloughan seemed to take a lot of interest in him as a player, scouting him heavily throughout the pre-draft process.
In the past, the Spokane native has said that he eventually wants to coach high-school football. His former coach at Ferris High, Jim Sharkey, says he has not spoken with Halliday about leaving football and that earlier this week he seemed excited for the chance to earn a roster spot.