Jurrell Casey, DT

Five-time Pro Bowl DL Jurrell Casey retires

Former Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey is retiring after 10 seasons and five Pro Bowl selections.

Casey, 31, who played his final season with the Denver Broncos in 2020, scheduled a press conference on Thursday afternoon at Nissan Stadium in Nashville to announce his decision.

“My career, it was amazing, just to have the opportunity to play this game. It was beautiful,” Casey told the Titans’ team website. “I always tried to play to the best of my ability, and always considered it an honor.”

Drafted in the third round in 2011 out of Southern California, Casey started 137 of his 139 games with Tennessee from 2011-19. He made the Pro Bowl in each of his final five seasons there before making three starts last season in Denver, which released him in February.

Casey posted 51 sacks, 117 quarterback hits, 15 passes defensed, eight forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in 142 career games (140 starts).

He was also twice nominated for the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year award during his time in Tennessee.

“This is a proud day for Jurrell, his family and the Titans family,” Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a news release. “There is no greater model for what a player can achieve both on the field and in the community than Jurrell.”

–Field Level Media

Jun 15, 2021; in Eagen, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Tyler Conklin (83) runs the ball as Minnesota Vikings linebacker Cameron Smith (32) defends him in drills at OTA at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings LB Cameron Smith retires one year after heart surgery

Vikings linebacker Cameron Smith completed a comeback from heart surgery, but plans to retire from the NFL.

Smith, 24, issued a statement via Instagram on Wednesday night.

“After careful consideration and thorough discussion with my friends and family, I have made the difficult decision to retire from the NFL,” the statement read in part. “I know this transition isn’t going to be easy, but I am excited to tackle this next chapter of my life with the same passion and pursuit that I did football.”

He was a fifth-round pick by Minnesota in 2019 out of Southern Cal and missed the 2020 season.

Following a false positive COVID-19 test last August, Smith learned through an extensive physical he would need surgery to repair a congenital heart defect.

Smith played for Minnesota in the preseason opener. He logged 18 snaps on defense, six on special teams, and recorded one tackle before leaving the game with a concussion.

–Field Level Media

Aug 14, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA;  Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers throws a pass during warmups prior to a game against the  Houston Texans at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

After considering retirement, Aaron Rodgers vows to enjoy 2021

Aaron Rodgers says he plans to enjoy every minute of his 2021 season with the Green Bay Packers, a team he reportedly swore at one point to never suit up for again.

Rodgers recently said on the Dan Le Batard and Friends Podcast that he was “50/50” regarding whether to retire, as recently as the week before the Packers reported to camp. But on Wednesday, after Green Bay’s joint practice with the New York Jets, Rodgers spoke to reporters about what he envisioned for his 17th NFL season.

“I don’t want a farewell tour,” Rodgers said Wednesday. “I don’t know what’s going to happen after the season, but I’m going to enjoy it with the right perspective, for sure, and not look at it as I’m getting through this. I’m going to enjoy the hell out of all of it.”

Rodgers felt that when the Packers selected quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft, a proverbial clock started on the remainder of his time with the storied franchise.

“And I thought unless there was something in the season that really made me feel like I’m going to be here past 2021, that maybe this would be my last year,” he said. “I didn’t want to be going into a year with some sort of … as a lame duck, like I said. I didn’t think that was fair to what I accomplished and what I mean to this team, and nothing really changed in that regard. I went into the offseason, that (it) could have been it.”

Rodgers, 37, returned to the Packers only after the team made several concessions to assuage him, which included acquiring old teammate Randall Cobb in a trade and restructuring his contract so that a departure from Green Bay in 2022, should Rodgers desire it, would be easier.

The reigning NFL MVP is not expected to play in the preseason. Love recently had an MRI exam on his injured throwing shoulder that came back clean, but Green Bay held him out of Wednesday’s practice as a precaution.

–Field Level Media

August 25, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) moves out to pass as offensive guard Zach Fulton (73) provides coverage against Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Tanzel Smart (92) during the first half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

OL Zach Fulton becomes third Giants player to retire this week

New York Giants offensive lineman Zach Fulton informed the team that he intends to retire from football, multiple media outlets reported.

Giants coach Joe Judge said Friday that Fulton’s decision is family and health-related.

Fulton joins linebacker Todd Davis, offensive lineman Joe Looney and wide receiver-turned-tight end Kelvin Benjamin as Giants players who have opted to hang up their cleats. Davis retired on Tuesday and Looney followed suit the next day, while Benjamin announced he was done with football after he was released last week.

The soon-to-be 30-year-old Fulton signed a one-year, $1.2 million contract with New York after playing the past three seasons with the Houston Texans.

Fulton appeared in 107 games (90 starts) with the Texans and Chiefs since being selected by Kansas City in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

Oct 19, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) with center Daniel Kilgore (67) and offensive guard Andrew Wylie (77) at the line of scrimmage against the Buffalo Bills in the third quarter at  Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Kilgore retires after 10 NFL seasons

Daniel Kilgore retired from the NFL after 10 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers.

Kilgore, 33, was a fifth-round pick in 2011 of the 49ers and spent last season with the Chiefs.

“After an unforgettable decade, I am announcing my retirement from the NFL,” Kilgore said in a statement posted to his social media accounts.

“My love for the game of football will never go away. But I have decided that at this point in my life it is time to retire from the National Football League.”

Kilgore started 60 games in his career and played in 98, including mostly on special teams with the Chiefs last season.

–Field Level Media

Jun 10, 2021; Tempe, AZ, USA; Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, center, warms up during the Cardinals mini-camp at the Dignity Health Cardinals Training Center. Mandatory Credit: David Wallace - USA TODAY Sports via The Arizona Republic

DeAndre Hopkins questions future, vaccine policy in deleted tweet

Arizona Cardinals All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins tweeted — then deleted — that he’s questioning his future in response to the new NFL rule that teams will be forced to forfeit games due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Earlier Thursday, the NFL sent a memo to every team that the league will not postpone or reschedule games in the 2021 season should a team have too many unvaccinated players unavailable due to COVID-19.

Teams with an outbreak would instead have to forfeit and players on both teams would not receive a game check since the game wasn’t played. That was also the case last season, except the league was able to get every postponed game rescheduled.

Hopkins reacted.

“Never thought I would say this, but being put in a position to hurt my team because I don’t want to partake in the vaccine is making me question my future in the NFL,” he tweeted before deleting.

Hopkins later responded to a tweet from Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, saying “when you stand for something they hate you!” Ramsey tweeted that he wouldn’t put any pressure on a player who doesn’t get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Hopkins is far from the only Cardinals player to not get vaccinated; the team is one of four that has not passed the 50 percent threshold for player vaccinations. The NFL and NFLPA have agreed on protocols that put restrictions on players who choose not to get vaccinated.

There is no mandate, however.

Hopkins, a three-time first-team All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection, would owe the Cardinals $22 million in unearned signing bonus money if he retired.

–Field Level Media

Nov 24, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Ted Ginn (19) attempts to make a catch with Carolina Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson (26) defending in the second half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints won, 34-31. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Ted Ginn Jr. retires after 14-year NFL career

Former Ohio State great and 14-year NFL veteran Ted Ginn Jr. retired from football Friday.

The wide receiver made the announcement at the same place he began his football career: at Glenville High School in Cleveland, where he starred playing under his father, coach Ted Ginn Sr.

Ginn Jr. had a productive and long NFL career as a deep threat at wide receiver, totaling 412 receptions for 5,742 yards and 33 touchdowns.

At Ohio State, Ginn racked up 135 receptions for 1,943 yards and 15 touchdowns, but he stood out even more on special teams, where he totaled eight return touchdowns.

He also scored seven touchdowns on returns during his pro career.

“I’ve dedicated my entire life to football until now,” Ginn said. “I’m going out in peace. … On my own terms, not forced out.”

Ginn, 36, played for six different NFL teams: Miami (2007-09), San Francisco (2010-12), Carolina (2013, 2015-16), Arizona (2014), New Orleans (2017-19) and Chicago (2020).

In 2020, he appeared in just six games (no starts) for the Chicago Bears, catching three balls for 40 yards.

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2020; Boise, Idaho, USA; Ohio Bobcats players dump french fries on head coach Frank Solich during the second half of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against the Nevada Wolf Pack at Albertsons Stadium. Ohio won 30-21. Mandatory Credit: Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio head coach Frank Solich retires to focus on health

Frank Solich retired after 16 seasons as head coach at Ohio to focus on his health.

The 76-year-old previously coached at Nebraska, where he replaced Tom Osborne in 1998 and posted a 58-19 record with the Cornhuskers.

Ohio had two winning seasons in 22 years prior to Solich’s arrival. He led the program to 11 bowl games.

Associate head coach and offensive coordinator Tim Albin was named Ohio head coach, agreeing to a four-year contract on Wednesday, the Bobcats announced.

“After fifty-five years in coaching, including 16 at Ohio University, it is time for me to step away to focus on a cardiovascular health issue,” said Solich, the MAC Coach of the Year in 2006. “I’ve appreciated the support of Bobcat fans over the years, and I know they will continue to support Coach Albin. After working directly with Tim for 21 consecutive years, including six at the University of Nebraska, it’s clear to me he is prepared to continue our work and move the program forward. I am happy for Tim and his family.”

Solich has a career record of 173-101, which includes his previous time at Nebraska, where he hired Albin as a graduate assistant in 2000. He was previously head coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State for three seasons, including a 13-0 season in 1999 as NAIA national champions.

“It is truly an honor to lead the Ohio University football program and I want to express my gratitude to President Sherman and Director of Athletics Julie Cromer for their belief in me,” Albin said. “I am forever indebted to Coach Solich for all that he has offered me and taught me through the years, and I know he will always be part of our program. Our team will provide an unmatched student-athlete experience both on and off the field and we will graduate young men prepared to succeed in life. With the help of our incredible staff I know great things lie ahead, and our work continues.”

–Field Level Media

September 16, 2018; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers offensive guard Weston Richburg (58) before the game against the Detroit Lions at Levi's Stadium. The 49ers defeated the Lions 30-27. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers C Weston Richburg announces retirement

San Francisco 49ers center Weston Richburg announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday.

Richburg, 29, sustained a torn right patellar tendon late in the 2019 season and sat out the 2020 campaign.

“I consider myself extremely blessed to have played in this league and am so grateful for the experiences over the last seven years,” Richburg said in a statement released by the 49ers. “Injuries are an unfortunate part of this game and I’ve reached a point where my body won’t allow me to continue playing and competing at a high level. I was able to play some good football all over the country and was fortunate enough to finish my career with the greatest franchise in sports.

“From top to bottom, the 49ers organization is comprised of some of the best men, women and athletes I’ve ever been around. To be just a small part of an NFC Championship and Super Bowl run is something I will never forget.”

Richburg signed a five-year, $47.5 million contract with the 49ers on March 15, 2018. He started all 28 games in which he appeared with the club.

“Weston was someone who made not only our offense, but our entire team better,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said in the statement. “He led by example through his detailed approach and the toughness in which he played the game. He was a tremendous player for our organization and will be missed both on the field and in the locker room.”

Richburg started 50 of the 51 games in which he appeared with the New York Giants, who selected him in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

The 49ers signed six-time Pro Bowl center Alex Mack to a three-year contract in March.

–Field Level Media

Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert (76) blocks during training camp at State Farm Stadium July 31, 2019.

Cardinals Training Camp

Cardinals tackle Marcus Gilbert retires

Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert officially announced his retirement Monday.

“I will forever remain grateful for the memories, experiences, friendships and successes football has provided me,” he wrote in a message on social media. “I am thankful for the coaches, doctors, trainers and staff that have helped me along the way.”

A second-round draft pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011, Gilbert went on to start 87 games at right tackle for the Steelers over eight seasons. Hamstring and knee injuries limited him to just 12 appearances over his final two years in Pittsburgh in 2017 and 2018.

Gilbert, 33, never actually suited up for the Cardinals. After Pittsburgh traded him to Arizona in 2019, he suffered a knee injury during practice days before the season opener and ended up on injured reserve. Then, he opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Although my tenure with the Arizona Cardinals was short, I cherished my time in the Grand Canyon State,” Gilbert wrote. “I wish Coach (Kliff) Kingsbury and the Arizona Cardinals the best of luck this season.”

–Field Level Media