Quentin Jammer can still play football and, in fact, would be an excellent (re)addition to a Chargers secondary that sure seems like it is too young and too new.

So this is not about Jammer’s career being over.

But his reaction to Wednesday’s news that Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher had retired was telling – about Jammer, about Urlacher and about football players as a species.

“I thought it was a little premature,” Jammer said. “I thought he could still play. But he did it on his terms, and that’s the most important thing.”

It is also extremely rare.

It’s easy for the rest of us to say Urlacher’s play had declined and it was time for him to go. It’s an entirely different matter for Urlacher to have decided that himself.

“After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made the decision to retire,” Urlacher said in a statement. “Although I could continue playing, I’m not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that’s up to my standards.”

You must consider how unique this is.

Generally, football players play until they can’t.

Those of us who operate in the NFL’s orbit have long known the game is a tough habit for these men to break. And in the wake of Junior Seau’s suicide a little more than a year ago, former players were seemingly more willing to talk about the challenge of adapting to life after football.

“We are unique, we are special for all of our lives -- just up until the day we’re not,” said former NFL player Aaron Taylor. “Then we're the average, everyday Joes, and we go through this period of insecurity.”