"I am. I just..." Patton stabbed at his steak. "You wouldn't understand."
"You're young. You have your whole career ahead of you. I don't. And I don't know...I don't know what's expected of me anymore." He bit down on the other half of that thought. I don't know who I am anymore.
"What happened in LA?"
"I hurt my knee."
"You can still play. Hell, you still have the best arm in the league. You know how to control a game. So how did you end up playing second string on a team that hasn't seen the playoffs in five years?"
"My arm isn't the only thing that matters."
Patton wasn't even tempted to tell DeShawn the truth. He doubted he would ever utter those words out loud. Unlike his mother, Patton had never felt like confession was good for the soul. "You don't have to believe me, but it's true. I'm slower now, and they would have had to rethink the entire offense to account for that."
"So they're lazy."
"They have a good scheme and they found a quarterback that fit well. It was either take the Phoenix deal or retire."
"Why didn't you retire? I don't think this is what you want. You don't act like you're very happy here."
"Because I...I can't think of anything more terrifying that never playing football again."
"Yeah." DeShawn exhaled slowly. "Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm not so young that I don't understand anything."
"I know that. You probably understand more than most."