Marino to announce retirement Monday

Miami QB tells friends he is finished playing

March 10, 2000|By MIAMI HERALD

MIAMI -- Longtime Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino's record-setting career is over.

Marino, the most prolific passer in NFL history, told friends last night he will retire after 17 seasons, two sources close to Marino told the Herald.

Marino, whose 420 career touchdown passes head a long list of league records, had told people close to him that he would wait until after the weekend to make his decision about whether to accept a one-year offer from the Minnesota Vikings.

However, overwhelming considerations about the health of his legs and the idea of playing so far from his family were too much for Marino to take a deal that he said was "intriguing."

Marino will make the decision official at a Monday news conference. He is scheduled to play this weekend in a charity golf event held by Greg Norman at Norman's private golf course in Hobe Sound.

Marino's agent, Marvin Demoff, said he was not aware of Marino's decision. Demoff said he talked to Marino earlier in the day and that Marino didn't indicate what he planned to do.

"I thought he was going to wait until the weekend," Demoff said. "We talked for about 10 minutes and he said he was getting ready to go to the Bruce Springsteen concert."

Marino's father, Dan Sr., declined to comment when reached at his home in Weston.

Foge Fazio, Marino's coach at the University of Pittsburgh and the defensive coordinator for the Vikings until joining the Washington Redskins this off-season, said Marino talked to him extensively about the Minnesota offer. Fazio said that before getting the offer, Marino said he was set to retire.

"Danny called me and we talked," Fazio said Thursday night. "He said it was like being recruited all over again. I told him a lot of positives about playing there, with wide receivers Randy Moss and Cris Carter to throw to and that head coach Denny Green likes to throw the ball."

Fazio said he had not heard from Marino since their talk.

Another friend said that one thing that troubled Marino during the past season was the condition of his legs, not his arm. Marino missed five starts and nearly six total games with a bulging disc injury that caused nerve damage to his right throwing shoulder.

"He said the biggest thing was that his legs felt really bad all season," the friend said. "He said he had a hard time moving a lot of the time. He said the arm felt fine, but his legs never felt good."

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