TRENTON (WFAN/AP) — Former Giants linebacker Harry Carson has nixed a bid to run for Congress as a Democrat in New Jersey.

The 58-year-old retired Hall of Famer said in January he had been considering a run against five-term Republican Rep. Scott Garrettin New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District.

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Carson told Bergen County Democratic Chairman Lou Stellato Tuesday morning that he had decided not to pursue the office.

“He said, ‘I just don’t have the passion for it,’ ” Stellato said, according to the Bergen Record. “And I said, ‘Well, I’m not going to talk you into it.’ ”

Carson told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he just doesn’t have the drive he thinks is needed to do it.

“I did not have the passion to jump in with both feet and change my life and take this on with the same intensity that I played football,” he said.

Although he has never held public office, Carson could afford to bankroll his own campaign and has instant name recognition among sports fans.

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“I was really flattered that so many people were urging me — some were even begging me — to run that really did give me reason to give it some serious thought,” Carson said.

Carson has lived in New Jersey since 1982 and now resides in Franklin Lakes.

He spent 13 years with the Giants, from 1976 to 1988, and was on the championship team in 1986. Since retiring, Carson has worked in broadcasting, written two books and started his own consulting and promotions company. He has also acted as an advocate for concussion awareness.

The recent deaths of his brother and stepfather-in-law made him want to ensure his family was a priority, Carson said, that would be too difficult if he ran.

“If I was 15 years younger, it might be a different situation.” he said.

Do you think Carson made the right decision? Sound off below…

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)