Notable NFL players who retired early: Ali Marpet joins list of those who retired in their prime

After seven seasons, 107 games, a Pro Bowl nod and a Super Bowl win, Ali Marpet has decided to retire. The Buccaneers offensive lineman hung up his cleats on Sunday at age 28. Marpet is said to have made this decision due to concerns for his general health.

The Buccaneers’ offense will be very different from the one that helped win Super Bowl LV. Tom Brady retired this offseason after a highly decorated 22-year career. Offensive linemen Ryan Jensen and Alex Cappa are expected to enter free agency, along with receiver Chris Godwin, tight end Rob Gronkowski and running back Leonard Fournette.

Marpet isn’t the only notable NFL player to retire at a relatively early age. Here’s a look at a few more.

Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck made the stunning decision to retire just weeks before the start of the 2019 NFL season at age 29.

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At 29, Luck said the endless cycle of injuries, rehabilitation, and then more injuries led to his difficult decision to retire in 2019 after 86 regular-season games. After missing no games in his first three seasons, Luck missed nine games in 2015 after suffering a shoulder injury, lacerated kidney and partially torn abdominal muscle. After playing in pain throughout the 2016 season, he missed the whole of 2017 after needing multiple surgeries to repair his injured shoulder.

Luck returned in 2018, enjoying one of its most productive seasons while guiding the Colts to the second round of the playoffs. Luck, who was named to the Pro Bowl last season, was also named NFL Returning Player of the Year. But after suffering two more injuries this offseason, he decided to honor a promise he made to himself in 2016: that he would not go through another season of unknowns when it came to his injuries and his status as a player.

“I was stuck in this process,” Luck said during his retirement press conference. “I haven’t been able to live the life I want to live. It took the joy out of this game…the only way forward for me is to retire from football.

“It’s not an easy decision. It’s the hardest decision of my life. But it’s the right decision for me.”

Tiki Barber

Although Barber’s career was not short, his decision to retire after the 2006 season – his 10th season with the New York Giants – was odd considering he was playing the best football of his career when he decided to walk away. gambling at age 31. After earning no Pro Bowl selections in his first seven seasons, Barber has earned three Pro Bowl selections and an All-Pro nod in his final three seasons. In 2006, his senior season, Barber rushed for 1,662 yards averaging 5.1 yards per carry. He also had 2,127 all-purpose yards, the third straight year that saw him eclipse the 2,000 yard barrier.

Despite losing Barber, the Giants would win the Super Bowl in 2007.

Jim Brown

The NFL’s ‘shocking’ first retirement belonged to Brown, who was just 29 when he retired after the 1965 season. Brown, the defending league run champion who was a year old to lead the Browns to their final NFL title, decided to continue playing instead of extending his NFL career. Despite his early retirement, Brown’s 12,312 career rushing yards were the most in NFL history until Walter Payton surpassed him in 1984. Brown, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is still considered by many to be the greatest running back in the NFL. the story.

Earl Campbell

An NFL champion in each of his first three NFL seasons, Campbell, one of the most physical running backs in NFL history, was out of football before his 31st birthday, calling it a career after the 1985 season. Although injuries did not force him out of the game, Campbell, a career Oiler before being traded to the Saints before the start of the 1985 season, was not the same player at the New Orleans after seven years of wear and tear on his body in Houston. Despite his relatively short career, Campbell was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991, his first year of eligibility. He was named to the NFL’s 100th Anniversary Team in 2019.

Terrell Davis

A two-time Super Bowl champion as well as a former league and Super Bowl MVP, Davis retired before the start of the 2002 season at the age of 29. Davis, who still holds the NFL record for most rushing yards in a single postseason, suffered a serious knee injury four games into the 1999 season. While returning to play both following seasons, Davis decided to come out on his own terms before the 2002 season. Davis, despite appearing in only 78 regular season games, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.

One of the best receivers of this century, Johnson was only 30 years old when he finally hung up his boots after the 2015 season. Injuries were a major factor in his decision to retire after nine seasons in Detroit. Johnson, a six-time Pro Bowler who twice led the NFL in receiving yards, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last summer.

A five-time All-Pro, Kuechly was 28 when he hung up his boots in January 2020. Injuries were the main reason Kuechly decided to retire after eight seasons, seven Pro Bowl selections and a Hall of Fame berth. Fame All- The team of the 2010s. Kuechly won Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2012 and Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. Two years later, he helped the Panthers win 15 regular season games en route to an NFC Championship.

“I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to play this game since I was in fourth grade,” Kuechly said when announcing his retirement. “I’ve been with the Panthers for eight years now and it’s never the right time to walk away, but it’s the right time for me. It’s a tough decision, I’ve thought about it a lot and I think it’s the right time.” chance for me to move on.”

Barry Sander

Barry Sanders retired less than two years after rushing for 2,053 yards and earning league MVP honors.

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Luck’s retirement came 20 years and a month after the most shocking retirement announcement in NFL history. Sanders, just 31 and a year away from his 2,053-yard rushing season, announced his retirement just before the start of the 1999 season. Now a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Sanders was only 1,457 meters from breaking Walter Payton’s all-time record, a record that would eventually be broken by Emmitt Smith in 2002.

“The reason I’m retiring is simple: my desire to leave the game is greater than my desire to stay,” Sanders wrote in his retirement statement. “I have searched my heart from top to bottom and I feel comfortable with this decision.”

Scabies Sayer

Sayers, the Chicago Bears running back who arguably had greatest rookie season in NFL history, retired after the 1971 season at the age of 28. Injuries had taken their toll on Sayers, who was a four-time All-Pro and a five-time Pro Bowler in his first five NFL seasons before injuries limited him to just four games in his final two seasons. in the NFL. Despite playing just 68 games, Sayers, a two-time NFL running champion, has done enough in his seven-year career to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Lynn Swann

A valued member of the Pittsburgh dynasty in the 1970s, Swann, the first receiver to be named MVP of a Super Bowl, retired at age 30 after nine seasons in the NFL. While a long history of head injuries was thought to play a part in his early retirement, Swann told NFL Films during a 2017 documentary that the chance to go into full-time broadcasting was the key. main reason why he hung up his boots for long before the 1983 season. While he waited almost 20 years, Swann’s career was finally immortalized in Canton in 2001.

One of the best defensive players of his era, Willis was 30 when he announced his retirement during the 2015 offseason. A seven-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro, Willis’ early retirement was largely due to a lingering injury to his big toe that caused him to miss most of the 2014 season. Willis, who was instrumental in San Francisco’s run to Super Bowl XLVII, is still awaiting his Hall of Fame induction after being initially becoming eligible in 2020.

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