Oct 27, 2018; Stanford, CA, USA; General view of the Stanford Cardinal helmet during the first quarter against the Washington State Cougars at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stanford OL Branson Bragg retires, citing concussion

Stanford offensive lineman Branson Bragg has retired from football due to the effects from a concussion.

The 6-foot-4, 315-pound senior from Texas announced his decision Monday on Twitter.

“This was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, but with long-term lingering and intense symptoms from a severe concussion I sustained in training camp, along with other mental health factors, I’m confident that stepping away is the best decision for me,” Bragg wrote.

Bragg started six games in 2020 and nine games in 2021, moving between right guard and right tackle. He earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors from the league’s coaches last season.

Bragg added that he is on track to graduate on time with a bachelor’s degree in mathematical and computational science.

–Field Level Media

May 14, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Wyatt Hubert (56) participates in drills during NFL minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals DE Wyatt Hubert retires

Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Wyatt Hubert has decided to call it a career.

The Bengals placed Hubert on the reserve/retired list on Saturday.

“After many conversations with my coaches, medical staff, agents and family, I have decided to step away from the game of football and retire from the NFL,” Hubert wrote Saturday on Twitter.

“It has been a tough decision to make. The root cause of this decision is my physical health. Unfortunately I have dealt with many injuries that have taken a permanent toll on my game, body and performance on the field.”

Hubert, 24, was selected by Cincinnati in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Kansas State.

He sustained a torn pectoral muscle in the offseason of that year, however, and sat out what would have been his rookie season.

–Field Level Media

Sep 16, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe (95) celebrates the win over the Oakland Raiders at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Former Broncos, Ravens DE Derek Wolfe retires

Former Denver Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe announced his retirement from the NFL on Friday at age 32.

He won a Super Bowl during his eight seasons in Denver (2012-19) and played for the Baltimore Ravens in 2020.

Wolfe missed the entire 2021 season with a hip injury and was released by the Ravens last month in an injury settlement.

“After 10 seasons in the NFL, I’ve decided it’s time to step away from the game,” he said in a video posted by the Broncos on Twitter. “Time for a new beginning.”

In 122 career games (116 starts), Wolfe notched 350 tackles, 34 sacks, 81 QB hits and three fumble recoveries. The 2012 second-round draft pick won his ring with Denver in Super Bowl 50.

–Field Level Media

Sep 12, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) prepares to pass the ball against the Los Angeles Chargers at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to retire after 17 seasons

Journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is set to call it a career after 17 NFL seasons.

Fitzpatrick, 39, has yet to make a formal announcement, however ESPN confirmed the news after former Buffalo Bills teammate Fred Jackson shared a screenshot of a text massage from the quarterback. Fitzpatrick wrote the words “Forever grateful for the magical ride” to numerous teammates, along with a sizable list of names of players with whom he has competed in his career.

While Fitzpatrick’s playing career apparently is coming to a close, he likely won’t be away from the game for long. Multiple media outlets reported Fitzpatrick is in talks with Amazon for the upcoming NFL season.

Fitzpatrick played only 16 snaps last season with the now-Washington Commanders, his ninth NFL team. He completed 3 of 6 passes for 13 yards before sustaining a hip subluxation in the second quarter of the 20-16 season-opening loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Fitzpatrick underwent arthroscopic surgery and did not play the rest of the season.

He has thrown for 34,990 yards and 223 touchdowns with 169 interceptions in 166 career games (147 starts).

A seventh-round draft pick out of Harvard in 2005, Fitzpatrick has played for the then-St. Louis Rams, Cincinnati Bengals, Bills, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins and Washington.

–Field Level Media

Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) runs with the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

RB Bilal Powell signs 1-day contract with Jets, retires

Running back Bilal Powell announced his retirement from the NFL after signing a one-day contract with the New York Jets on Tuesday.

Powell, 33, spent nine seasons as a member of the Jets. He last played an NFL game on Dec. 29, 2019.

“Man, it’s going to take me all the way back to the time when there were people who probably didn’t believe in me,” Powell said. “You don’t think about the future at that time. Now, you think about all the moments, the memories. You miss certain things about it, right? And to know that this chapter of my life is closure for me and to understand I’m a Jet for life, I don’t think too many guys can say that they came through and played this game.”

Powell rushed for 3,675 yards and 15 touchdowns and had 211 catches for 1,600 yards and five scores in 109 career games (38 starts) with New York. He was selected by the Jets in the fourth round out of Louisville in the 2011 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

Aug 21, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Houston Texans outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus (59) and linebacker Jake Martin (54) celebrate a turnover in the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Pass rusher Whitney Mercilus retires after 10 seasons

Longtime Houston Texans pass rusher Whitney Mercilus announced his retirement Wednesday after 10 seasons and 58 sacks.

Mercilus, 31, played all but four of his 138 career games (102 starts) for the Texans from 2012-21. The Texans released Mercilus last Oct. 19 and he was signed by the Green Bay Packers two days later.

He played in four games for the Packers before finishing the regular season on injured reserve with a left biceps tear. He returned to play 12 snaps for the Packers in their loss to San Francisco in the NFC divisional round of the playoffs.

Mercilus made the announcement on social media.

“It’s time to hang it up,” Mercilus wrote. “Merci out.”

He plans on becoming a grill master for his family.

Mercilus was selected No. 26 overall by the Texans in the 2012 draft. He finishes with 362 career tackles – including 73 for loss – to go with 13 forced fumbles and nine fumble recoveries. He earned second team All-Pro in 2016, one season after recording a career-high 12 sacks.

He also was a unanimous college All-American for Illinois in 2011.

–Field Level Media

Jan 16, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) reacts during the first half in an AFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

‘Truly grateful’ Ben Roethlisberger retires

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger officially retired from football Thursday.

In a two-plus minute video posted to Twitter with his wife, Ashley, and three kids, Roethlisberger put an end to a surefire Hall of Fame career that spanned 18 years, all in Pittsburgh.

“The time has come to clean out my locker, hang up my cleats and continue to be all I can be to my wife and children,” Roethlisberger said, reading from a prepared statement. “I retire from football, a truly grateful man.”

It could be a landmark season for prominent quarterback retirement decisions. Tom Brady, 44, is weighing walking away from the NFL and Buccaneers despite leading the league in passing yards. Aaron Rodgers, who completed his 17th season in Green Bay, is at a career crossroads and said retirement is on the table.

Roethlisberger, 39, leaves as a two-time Super Bowl champion and six-time Pro Bowl selection.

He completed 64.4 percent of his passes for 64,088 yards and 418 touchdowns in 249 career games, 247 of them starts for the Steelers. He led the Steelers to 41 fourth-quarter comebacks and 53 game-winning drives in his career.

He leaves with a record of 165-81-1. Roethlisberger was the 2004 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

–Field Level Media

Nov 1, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA;  Baltimore Ravens defensive back Anthony Levine Sr. (41) reacts during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens special teams star Anthony Levine Sr. retires

Baltimore Ravens special teams captain Anthony Levine Sr. retired from the NFL on Wednesday.

Levine, 34, entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie out of Tennessee State and spent time on the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad. The safety found his footing with Baltimore, recording 149 tackles, four sacks, two interceptions and four fumble recoveries in 146 career games (five starts) from 2012-21.

“Tough, smart, persistent and dependable, Anthony represents the very best of what it means to be a Raven. A relentless competitor and man of high character, Anthony poured every part of himself into the team,” coach John Harbaugh said.

“He worked tirelessly to become one of the NFL’s best special teams players, and he could always be relied upon to contribute at a high level on defense — no matter the role he was asked to play. Most importantly, Anthony is a terrific leader of men and someone who helped his teammates become the very best versions of themselves.”

Levine appeared to hint at the move earlier on Wednesday over social media.

“Good morning today is the day!” he wrote on Twitter.

–Field Level Media

Dec 20, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back LeSean McCoy (25) runs the ball against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half of a NFL game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

LeSean McCoy signs 1-day contract to retire with Eagles

Two-time All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy is signing a one-day contract with Philadelphia and will retire as an Eagle on Friday.

McCoy, 33, and the team made the announcement Thursday.

“After 12 years in the NFL, I’ve decided to retire an Eagle because this is home to me. I still have that green inside my heart,” McCoy wrote in an article published on the team’s website.

“There are times when I’d see the Eagles on TV, and it just felt weird not wearing that uniform. … I’ve just always seen myself as an Eagle. It’s only right to come back home and retire an Eagle.”

McCoy earned Pro Bowl honors six times, four with the Eagles. He made All-Pro in 2011 and 2013, also with the Eagles. He led the NFL with 2,146 yards from scrimmage in ’13. He led the league with 20 rushing and receiving touchdowns in ’11.

McCoy is a two-time Super Bowl champ, having hooked on with Kansas City in 2019 and Tampa Bay last season.

He finishes with 11,102 rushing yards and 73 TDs in 170 games (141 starts) with the Eagles (2009-14), Buffalo Bills (2015-18), Chiefs and Bucs. He also had 518 career catches for 3,898 yards and 16 TDs.

McCoy was traded away to the Bills by then-Eagles coach Chip Kelly, who lasted one game short of three seasons in Philly.

“The only regret I’ve ever had was not spending my entire career as an Eagle,” McCoy wrote. “I grew up in Harrisburg, played my college football at Pittsburgh, and was drafted by the Eagles. I never thought it would have been like that, but it would have been so cool to finish my career only having played in this one state.”

The Eagles selected McCoy in the second round of the 2009 draft.

–Field Level Media

Feb 4, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Philadelphia Eagles offensive guard Stefen Wisniewski (61) reacts after defeating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Eagles won 41-33. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

G Stefen Wisniewski retires, to become pastor

Two-time Super Bowl champion guard Stefen Wisniewski announced his retirement from the NFL after 10 seasons on Thursday.

The 32-year-old veteran of 139 NFL games announced in a video posted to Twitter that he plans to pursue a career in the ministry.

“I absolutely loved playing the game of football but after 10 years, my body, my mind and my heart are telling me it’s time to move on,” Wisniewski said, in part. “What am I going to do next? I’m going to be a pastor. The absolute best part of my life is my relationship with Jesus Christ and I can’t imagine a better full-time job than teaching people the Bible and sharing the love of Christ with others.”

Wisniewski won Super Bowl LII with the Philadelphia Eagles and Super Bowl LIV with the Kansas City Chiefs. His final game was the Chiefs’ 31-9 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV in February.

A second-round pick by Oakland in 2011 out of Penn State, Wisniewski made 106 starts with the Raiders (2011-14), Jacksonville Jaguars (2015), Eagles (2016-18), Chiefs (2019-20) and Pittsburgh Steelers (2020).

–Field Level Media