FOXBORO, Mass. -- All-Pro guard John Hannah, displeased with the New England Patroits' management, ended his 10-year NFL career Wednesday by announcing his retirement.
Hannah, New England teammates said, was unable to get motivated under new coach Ron Meyer and was convinced the Patriots won't be winners for some time.
'I talked to him and he's through, through with football, totally,' said Don Hasselbeck, the Patriots' tight end. 'He's looking forward to the rest of his life. John was unhappy playing here and he was unhappy with the new coach and he's tired of it, fed up. He couldn't get motivated.'
Hannah notified Patriots general manager Pat Sullivan of his decision Wednesday morning, hours after the Boston Globe had reported it. The Globe quoted Hannah's wife, Page, as saying her husband 'is a beaten man, right now ... and has lost all his desire to play football.'
Sullivan said Hannah's decision was 'a personal one' and that he didn't try to dissuade the player, who was named the NFL's top offensive lineman five straight years.
'I just wished him the best of luck. There isn't much more I can do,' he said.
Hannah, a No. 1 draft choice out of Alabama in 1973, has had a love-hate relationship with the Patriots since 1977, when he and Leon Gray missed three games during a contract dispute. After the season, Hannah demanded to be traded and vowed he'd retire rather than play for the Patriots. He returned.
In 1979, Gray was dealt to Houston and Hannah fumed he would never sign another contract with the Patriots. He changed his mind again, and had two years left on his current pact which paid him about $300,000 a year.
'We talked last (Tuesday) night and the things he said didn't surprise me,' said Pete Brock, one of Hannah's closest friends on the team. 'Oh he's serious all right, no question about it.'
'John always said that he would quit if he didn't have the desire to play anymore,' Hasselbeck said. 'But sometimes, salaries make that tough to do. You're paid handsomely for what you do and the normal tendency is to keep doing it even if you don't like it. The money's too good.'
Hannah instead will settle into an executive slot with the Hannah Farm Supply Co., in Alabama, which is owned by hs father, Herb, and distributes products to seven states. Hannah also owns a 250-acre ranch in Alabama with 40,000 chickens and 150 head of Holstein cattle.
'He'll do well financially, not as well as football, but he doesn't have to worry about the broken bones, the shoulder, the knees,' Hasselbeck said.
'If all the stuff last year hadn't happened, he'd probably still beplaying,' Hasselbeck added. 'He was a winner, he wanted to win and he didn't think it was going to happen here. He tried to get up for the games and he couldn't.'