NFL Buffalo

Wood retired, happy and moving forward

Issues with Bills settled

Batavia - Monday morning in Batavia, Eric Wood was cheery. He seemed settled and doing exactly what a retired pro football player should be doing: playing golf (to raise money).

The last time Wood appeared in public was days after word of his retirement was leaked. The Bills arranged a press conference and Wood arrived over an hour late. His statement was short. He did not take questions and left more confusion than closure. 

Before participating in the Jim Kelly Celebrity Golf Tournament, Wood revealed that press conference was supposed to be an injury announcement not a retirement announcement. 

The retirement leak complicated the situation beyond salvaging, at least in January. 

However, Wood ran into Brandon Beane and plenty of current Bills at the Kelly Gala Sunday night. All is now well between the player and his former team. 

"A lot of it was just timing for the team. Letting them figure out how to handle it all," Wood said. "I was fine with it and I told them I won't be sensitive about it. It became a delayed process which kinda stunk, but it all worked out."

Wood did confirm he was officially retired. He said he felt great and was down a few pounds (thought it appeared to be much more than a "few"). He did admit to missing being a part of "my team" when pictures of spring practice appear on social media.

He was informed of the neck injury that ended his career four days after the Bills were eliminated from the playoffs. Wood said there were no hysterics or angst upon learning his prognosis. He did seek a second opinion in the hopes of finding a way to fix the injury and allow his career to continue.

The diagnosis came so close to other very happy Wood family news, he likely could not fixate on the injury.

"I literally got the call from Dr. Cappuccino while I was in the delivery room with my wife. And then we had our son (Garrett) an hour later," Wood said. "It was a very emotional few days."

Wood briefly addressed the concerning situation with Richie Incognito, was was detained and required to seek mental evaluation after an incident at a Florida gym in late May. 

"He's going through a tough time right now. I think that's obvious. We're praying for him and I know he'll come out of this. A good man."

Wood said he's been a "full time dad" a lot this spring, but stay at home dad is not the next thing for him. There seemed to be some interest in a media career much more than coaching. 

He's not sure what the next step would be, but did say "at some point" he would have a message for Bills fans. 

Wood seemed in no rush to get wherever he's going next. He's too busy enjoying retirement. 

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