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Former Spanish Fork, University of Utah lineman Isaac Asiata retires from NFL

Utah Utes offensive lineman Isaac Asiata (54) as the University of Utah is defeated by Arizona University 42-10 in PAC 12 football in Rice-Eccles Staduim Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Salt Lake City.
Utah Utes offensive lineman Isaac Asiata (54) as the University of Utah is defeated by Arizona University 42-10 in PAC 12 football in Rice-Eccles Staduim Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Salt Lake City.
Tom Smart

SALT LAKE CITY — Former University of Utah offensive lineman Isaac Asiata announced his decision to retire from the NFL on Tuesday.

“Today, with a clear mind and open heart, I would like to officially announce my retirement from the National Football League,” Asiata wrote, going on to thank the Buffalo Bills.

Posting on Twitter, Asiata explained his decision.

”I have lived the last two years of my NFL career waging war with myself mentally. With constant anxiety, persistent worry and fear of the unknown and of ‘what comes next’ if I were to be done. I also placed the unnecessary burden on my shoulders of never wanting to disappoint those around me. Afraid of being a ‘draft bust’ or just another guy who couldn’t cut it in the league. The fear of failure consumed me to the point of questioning myself and my ability to play the game. I no longer played this game because I loved it, but rather for the fear of what life would be like when it was gone and the backlash if I were unsuccessful,” Asiata wrote.

Asiata was drafted by Miami with the 164th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. In 2017, Asiata appeared in all four preseason games and one regular season game, which he repeated in 2018. He was cut from Miami in June.

“Back in April, after I was released from the Dolphins, all of those emotions and fears that I carried with me disappeared as the ‘unknown’ and ‘what’s next’ became my reality. I found a refreshing and renewed outlook on my career and on life as I was faced with the option of walking away. I made the decision to pursue this one more time and if I absolutely wasn’t 100% in it for the love of the game, or if those same anxieties and fears returned, I would leave. I work for three months on myself — mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally and was ready to take whatever came my way,” Asiata said.

The Buffalo Bills signed the Utah product just last week.

“I was blessed with that opportunity from the Buffalo Bills as I signed a new deal with them at the start of camp. But over the past week, I found that my heart was no longer 100% into this. I sought out to give it one more shot to see if I was truly done and ready to move on and I am. I love the game of football with every fiber in my being but as a player, I could not give the game half of myself anymore. Those fears and anxieties were replaced with comfort, peace and understanding as I came to terms with where my life is now, and what the Lord has planned for me and my family,” Asiata continued.

Asiata concluded by thanking his family, friends, coaches, wife, daughter and former teams.