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HOME > The Bachelor > The Bachelor 5

Former 'Bachelor' star Jesse Palmer retires from professional football

By Christopher Rocchio, 05/25/2007 

Jesse Palmer's charming personality and good looks may have helped him on The Bachelor's fifth season but it did nothing for his football career, which reportedly came to an end Thursday.

The 28-year-old quarterback had stints with the NFL's New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers, as well as more recently with the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes, before walking away from the game this week to pursue a broadcasting career back in the States, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported Thursday.

Similar to the five seasons he spent as a backup quarterback with the Giants and 49ers in the NFL, Palmer never got the chance to play during his brief CFL career, as he spent the second half of last season on the Alouettes' developmental roster.  Jim Popp, the team's coach and general manager, was unwavering in his decision to stick with veteran quarterback Anthony Calvillo for the upcoming CFL season, but added that didn't effect Palmer's decision to retire, according to the CBC.

"From the day Jesse Palmer joined the team until he decided he would retire, it was always clear that until Anthony Calvillo was beat out, he will be the quarterback," said Popp during a Thursday conference call with reporters, according to the CBC.

Palmer appeared as the object of affection during the Spring 2004 installment of ABC's The Bachelor after riding the Giants' bench for three seasons after the team drafted him out of the University of Florida in 2001. 

Palmer presented his final rose to Jessica Bowlin during the The Bachelor's fifth season finale in May 2004 -- but instead of proposing to the 22-year-old law Californian law school student he opted to present her with a one-way ticket to join him in New York.  It probably should have been a round trip ticket since the couple announced a mutual break-up not even a month after The Bachelor's finale aired. 

Things didn't get much better for Palmer after that, as the Giants drafted future franchise quarterback Eli Manning the following spring.  Ironically, Palmer lost his role as the Giants' backup quarterback to another reality TV-related football player -- Tim Hasselbeck, the husband of former Survivor: The Australian Outback castaway Elisabeth Hasselbeck -- and was cut by the team in September 2005.

After being released by the Giants, Palmer returned to television and worked as a color commentator on Fox for two 2005 game broadcasts.  The next spring, he participated in The NFL Network's coverage of the April 2006 NFL Draft before attempting to return to the field and continue his playing career with both the NFL's 49ers and CFL's Alouettes last fall.

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