That extra padding will come in handy now. Last Thursday, Runyan announced plans to run as a Republican for New Jersey's Third Congressional District, which stretches from the state's suburbs just to the east of Philly to Ocean County. It's home to about 650,000 people. The district had been a GOP stronghold until Democrat
Running newcomers is a time-honored, go-to strategy whenever the political pendulum swings to one side, and Runyan is hardly the first jock to be cheered on by the local GOP. Heisman Trophy winner
Runyan's entry into politics is just as quixotic. He hadn't seriously considered running for office until last October, three months before retiring from football following microfracture surgery on his right knee. That's when Republican State Assemblywoman
His patience for listening stood out in the Eagles locker room, along with an eagerness to engage his teammates in matters outside of sports. Said onetime teammate
Still, the most important assets Runyan brings to his new arena remain name recognition and enough personal wealth to finance his own campaign. An NFL source with knowledge of Runyan's contract history estimated his career earnings at $46 million -- the bulk of which came from the six-year, $30 million contract he signed with Philadelphia in 2000, which made him the league's highest-paid offensive lineman at the time.
In what is expected to be a rugged contest -- especially in the primaries, where party upstart
Though Runyan was not formally active in the NFL Players Association, Vincent, then the Eagles' player rep, credited Runyan for rallying locker-room support around union causes. "He's one I leaned on
While conceding his political inexperience, Runyan is quick to fall back on his lineman's instincts by seeking to turn his opponents' strengths into weaknesses. "Look at
That's why Runyan is going into this new endeavor with the hurry-up mindset employed during his old one. "By no means do I intend to make a career out of this," he said. "I've had my life's career already. This is just an extension of who I am and my community service. Just going out and helping people is something that I have a tremendous passion for, and this is a great time to make some positive changes to get this country back on its feet."