With the 164th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins selected Utah guard Isaac Asiata. The 6-foot-3, 300 pound lineman was expected to add a piece to a (constantly) rebuilding offensive line. The fifth-round pick was a four-year starter at Utah and, while it was accepted he would need time to develop to the NFL game, it was anticipated that he would be able to be a part of the offensive line for years.
Except, none of that happened.
Asiata had a “red shirt” rookie season, on the active roster but inactive for game day most week. He then continued on the practice squad for 2018, eventually moving up to the active roster, but not becoming a regular starter. He appeared in two games for the Dolphins in two seasons. During the Dolphins’ offseason training program, Asiata was waived/injured, reverting to the injured reserve list when no team claimed him. The Dolphins then reached a settlement and released him outright in June.
He was unable to get onto the field with the Dolphins, but the potential was still there.
On July 22, Asiata signed with the Buffalo Bills, and appeared excited for his next chapter.
He continued to appear to be enjoying his time in Buffalo:
Something unexpected happened on Tuesday, however. The lineman was not at Bills practice, and then the Bills announced Asiata had retired.
Asiata released a statement on Twitter to explain his decision, and the battle with anxiety he has had the last couple of years.
It was a sudden end to his career, but it appears Asiata is happy and comfortable with the decision. Good luck, Isaac, with wherever your journey takes you next.