TAMPA (FOX 13) - Most NFL careers end before the player wants it to, but not Joe Hawley. The Buccaneers' former center left it all out on the field. He’s happy his football days are over.
Hawley retired this offseason after eight years in the league. He’s a 29-year-old retiree with football in his rearview and plenty of gas left in the tank.
“I had a really nice couch, it took up this whole room, surprisingly,” Hawley said while sitting in the middle of his empty house.
Hawley used to have a lot of things, but now just the bare essentials.
“I got my grill. I’m going to use that to cook food. Jameis [Winston] actually got that for us,” said Hawley
These days, the leaned-up former offensive lineman is lightening his load for his post-NFL chapter.
“Every time I get rid of something, it’s like weight lifting off my shoulders. I can literally feel it. So, I’m excited to live with less so I can experience more," he offered.
He’s going to experience more, alright, from behind the wheel of his new camper van.
Joe Hawley is moving into his van.
“A lot of guys are actually jealous,” Hawley said as his neighbor stopped to say hi. “So, I’m doing it for a lot of people that can’t, that have always wanted to.”
“I’ve asked if I could go along," Hawley's neighbor chimed in.
Hawley donated all he had to Metropolitan Ministries because life on the road is calling his name.
“Place I want to see? I want to spend some time at national parks, go see the country. I want to check out a bunch of different baseball parks and just kind of go with the flow,” said Hawley. “Last year, middle of the season, I wasn’t happy anymore. I was like, ‘What am I doing? I can grind this out but it’s not fulfilling my life. It’s not fulfilling my soul.'”
Hawley will chronicle his adventures on his appropriately titled "Man Van Dog Blog." His dog, Freedom, will join him on the adventure.
Just a man, a van, and his dog.