Before the 2020 season started, I didn’t even know if I was going to play or not. I knew I could play, but I wasn’t sure how long my body would make it, if even through the year. But thankfully, I walked into the perfect scenario.
In Indianapolis, I had an incredible coach, whom I already knew, an unbelievable quarterback, and really great teammates. The whole organization was so well run, specifically the strength and training staff, which made sure I was exactly where I needed to be at all times. The season itself was a big high point for my personal career. Other than having to deal with COVID-19 restrictions, the season was fantastic. And because of the restrictions, I was able to spend way more time with my family than I normally would.
This season also showed God’s favor over my career in a new way. It was almost as if I finally was able to see how an NFL organization should and could be run in the best possible way. It was a breath of fresh air. Yes, it’s always challenging going to a new organization, especially when we had a prolonged offseason and I didn’t know many people. But I was able to gain a steady role on the team and the transition was almost seamless.
Currently I’m a free agent, so I wait and see what happens. I know I can still play at a high level, but my career decisions are about way more than just my own ability to play now. I have a wife and three kids in full-time school, so if I was called to a team far from my hometown of Tampa, I would have to leave my family in Florida. My decisions don’t just affect me, they affect my family. But whatever happens, I have an incredible peace during this situation. I’ve never been the guy who wants to play 30 years in the league and then never walk again. I know I still have the ability to play, so if God wants me to play, I know He will open up the right doors for us.
At the moment, my priority is to be the best dad I can be for my kids, and enjoy my time with them for however long I can. I’m enjoying every moment I get to spend over breakfast or lunch with just my wife, because it’s really the first time in eight years of our marriage that we’ve had consistent time together, just the two of us. It’s the little daily things that make me grateful for where I am positioned right now. I know if I was a free agent five or six years ago, I may have grown anxious or worried about the outcome. When I was younger — playing for a minimum salary in Philly, undrafted and new to the game — I was playing as if my hair was on fire. I went full speed all the time. Now, things are different. While I still give it my all, it’s not my entire life.
Over my entire career, I’ve felt God’s hand in my life along the way. One of the greatest ways in which I’ve seen God at work is in and through the relationships He’s blessed me with. We have so many cool friends that we’ve met along the way, and it’s only because of what we’ve been able to do and what God has done through us. I look back and appreciate these unexpected gifts more than ever.
One of the most amazing things to experience in this life is the people and connections God brings along your journey. I wouldn’t trade that for the world.
— Trey Burton, NFL tight end
Trey Burton is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Trey’s Increase profile here.
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