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Terry Crews I Wanted to Die on NFL Field Too ... But I've Wised Up

8/1/2017 10:26 AM PDT

Terry Crews: 'I Wanted to Die On NFL Field Too, But Not Anymore'

EXCLUSIVE

Before Terry Crews took over Hollywood, he was an NFL linebacker who says he was ready to die on the field -- same mind-set as NY Jets rookie Jamal Adams.  

But things have changed.

"I wanted to die on the field when I was playing ... but not anymore," Crews tells TMZ Sports

Of course, Crews became a massive star AFTER his 5 year NFL career -- starring in huge movies ("The Expendables"), huge TV shows ("Brooklyn Nine-Nine") and big ad campaigns (Old Spice, anyone?) 

The message? There's MUCH more to life than football -- and he's living proof. 

Crews also shared his message with a mother and her football playing son outside of Craig's -- advising the kid to be a kicker because it's safer.

The kid's mom asked Terry if he would let his son play football with all of the CTE concerns -- you gotta hear Crews' answer.

As for Adams, the Jets safety told the media this week, "If I had a perfect place to die, I would die on the field."

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