At 39 years old and facing knee surgery in the coming weeks, some NFL players might consider hanging up their cleats.
But not Redskins punter Sav Rocca.
“I want to get another two to three years,” Rocca said recently. “I enjoy playing. The family and myself really enjoy being over here. We’re going to see how long we’re going to ride this thing for.”
Rocca, a native of Australia, told reporters last week that he intends to have surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. He also said he plans to rehab in Australia and expects to be able to resume punting in April.
In October, Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan brought in three free agent punters for a tryout due to the concern about Rocca’s injury, which the coach said he suffered jogging. Rocca, however, decided to play through the pain instead of sitting out and potentially losing his job.
“I just wanted to make sure it’s my job,” said Rocca, who also serves as the holder on Kai Forbath’s field goal attempts. “I really want to play.”
Rocca just completed the second season of a two-year $3.5 million contract and is due to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Despite the lingering injury, Rocca finished the season strong. In the Redskins’ playoff loss to the Seahawks, he booted punts of 50, 53 and 53 yards in the second half. When it was noted that he was seen loosening up his arm before the game, a reporter asked if there might have been a fake punt in the game plan.
“You never know,” he said with a chuckle. “You never know what’s going on.”
All kidding aside, Rocca said he’s serious about returning to Washington, where he feels he and the Redskins have some unfinished business.
“I think this team is going in the right direction,” he said. “We have a good quarterback [in Robert Griffin III] and a good up-and-coming team and I think, in the next two or three years that this team can really push through and make, hopefully, a push for the Super Bowl. I want to be around when that happens.”