Darren Hartwell, NESN:
New England Patriots defensive lineman Armond Armstead retired last July at just 23 years old. In a statement released by the team, Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick said Armstead had dealt with an “unusual” amount of adversity.
We now have an idea of what Armstead was going through.
According to the Sacramento Bee, the former USC star is filing a lawsuit against his alma mater claiming that “fraud, concealment and negligence” prevented him from realizing his NFL dream.
Armstead suffered a heart attack while at USC in 2011 and believes it was caused by the school prescribing him painkillers. Yet documents filed in the lawsuit revealed that Armstead suffered a second heart attack in 2014, according to the Bee, and that the second health scare led the Sacramento native to retire.
Armond Armstead sat out his senior year at USC in 2012, having not been cleared by doctors to play. He was not selected in the NFL draft. Armstead played for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League in 2013 before signing with the New England Patriots. He was unable to get on the practice field, undergoing surgery for an undisclosed infection in July 2013 and being placed on the reserve/non-football injury list. His brief NFL career was over.
The lawsuit was settled today between Armond Armstead and the University of California. No financial details were disclosed.
It is sad that his career was cut short. “He would have been a top-15 player or better,” said former GM Charley Armey of the St. Louis Rams. Armey told the court that Armstead could have been a standout defensive player in the NFL had he been healthy, even comparing him to Houston Texans standout J.J. Watt.
Here's hoping that Armond Armstead regains his health.
Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.
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