Lott: What If I Took Less Money To Stay With 49ers?

Ronnie Lott won four Super Bowls in San Francisco; had he stayed, he might have won more

The DA Show
October 31, 2019 - 1:46 pm

Tom Brady, Eli Manning and Philip Rivers are among the best quarterbacks of their generation. Brady, of course, is perhaps the greatest quarterback of all time. Nevertheless, all three could be playing for different teams next season.

Ronnie Lott, who played a decade for the Niners before spending two years with the Raiders and two with the Jets, reflected on the prospect of playing for a different franchise at the end of your career.

“It’s funny, it’s a really interesting thing that you’re asking,” the four-time Super Bowl champion said on The DA Show. “To me, I’ve always had this mantra in life of exhaust every moment, exhaust life, and give it your all. For me, I always thought that was the idea of exhausting everything. Play as long as you can. No matter what team you play for, just exhaust it. Now looking and reflecting back, there are things that I think about. 

“When I think about the 49ers and I think about what we were trying to accomplish and what we were doing, I’ve seen the Warriors . . . break up,” Lott continued. “When you start to have people leave and things go in a different direction, it’s really challenging. Sometimes I sit there and say, ‘Maybe winning is more important than exhausting life.’ I’ve debated about that in my head, but I’ve always felt like I wanted to exhaust life and give everything I can to respect the sport because I didn’t want to have any regrets in my life.”

Lott, a Hall of Famer, wonders what might have happened had he taken less money to stay with the Niners in 1991.

“Yeah, and the reason I say that, you could have stayed a part of the family,” he said. “We might have won another championship. Those things, you think about. At the same time, exhausting life and giving our all and knowing you don’t have any regrets, especially knowing that you don’t have any regrets, is a really interesting ting to me. When I look back at football, I know I left everything on the field. I gave everything I could. And yet, I could have possibly thought about that moment of saying, ‘If I stayed, what would that have been like?’”