Lofa Tatupu says he started to believe his career was over as he spent the 2011 season away football.
Following his release from the Seattle Seahawks, Tatupu says his only chances with other teams were as an outside linebacker. He was a three-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker with Seattle.
When he realized he wasn't going to play last season he finally stopped working out. He says he even thought it was time to file his retirement papers.
Instead, Tatupu is enjoying a new start with the Atlanta Falcons, who needed help at the position after Curtis Lofton signed with the Saints.
The 29-year-old Tatupu opened minicamp with the Falcons on Tuesday, competing with Akeem Dent for the starting job and relishing the rebirth of his career.