Dylan Cozens abandoning pro baseball to chase NFL dream

Dylan Cozens is ditching the baseball diamond for the gridiron. 

Cozens, who last played in the major leagues with the Phillies in 2019, announced his intentions to pursue an NFL career Tuesday afternoon. 

“I’ve decided it’s time to chase my dream of playing in the NFL,” Cozens wrote on Twitter. “I want to thank the Phillies, Rays and Brewers organizations for giving me the opportunity to play professional baseball but more importantly the people, experiences and memories I’ll keep forever.”  

The 27-year-old Cozens has spent the 2021 season with the Nashville Sounds, the Milwaukee Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate. He was batting .177 with a pair of home runs and 7 RBI in 79 at bats. 

The Phillies’ and Brewers’ Twitter accounts wished Cozens luck in his new venture.

Cozens, who stands at 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds, played both football and baseball at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, starring as a defensive end. His father, Randy, played linebacker and was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 1976 NFL Draft, yet never appeared in a professional game. 

Dylan Cozens #25 of the Philadelphia Phillies warms up
Dylan Cozens was a star on the football field in high school.
Getty Images

The Phillies drafted Cozens in the second round of the 2012 MLB Draft out of high school, prompting Cozens to turn down a scholarship offer to play football at the University of Arizona. He spent six years in Philadelphia’s minor league system before finally reaching the majors in 2018. In 38 at-bats, he hit just .158. 

Across nine minor league seasons, Cozens hit .250 with 136 home runs. His best season came in 2016, when he tallied 40 home runs and 125 RBI for Double-A Reading.