Carolina’s captain is calling it quits.
Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly announced throughout the team’s Twitter acount on Tuesday night that he’s retiring after eight seasons in the league.
“It be never the trusty time to step away, however now would possibly perhaps perhaps perhaps be the trusty time for me. It be a difficult decision. I’ve thought about it a lot. I yell now would possibly perhaps perhaps perhaps be the trusty chance for me to crawl on,” Kuechly stated. “It makes me unhappy because I admire taking part on this game, I’ve performed it since I was a kid. It be my favorite ingredient in the arena to enact. The recollections I genuinely contain from this area and this group and participating in on the realm with these guys, they’ll never crawl away.
“There is simplest one technique to play this game since I was a exiguous kid, it’s to play immediate, play physical and play rep. And at this point I make now not know if I am ready to enact that anymore and that is the rationale the phase that’s potentially the most hard. I composed wish to play, however I make now not yell it’s miles the trusty decision.”
Kuechly, 28, leaves the game as a seven-time Pro Bowler, a five-time first-team All-Pro and the 2013 AP Defensive Player of the Year.
The Panthers linebacker started all 16 games in Carolina’s 2019 marketing and marketing campaign, ending with 144 tackles and two picks. Kuechly will enact his profession with 118 begins in 118 games performed, 18 interceptions, seven compelled fumbles, 12.5 sacks and 1,092 total tackles.
Kuechly had two years closing on his deal in Carolina and is strolling some distance from $10.8 million in 2020.
Drafted ninth overall out of Boston College in the 2012 draft, Kuechly had a straight away influence on Ron Rivera’s Panthers. The linebacker took dwelling AP Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2012 and then used to be named DPOY in only his second season. Kuechly participated in four Panthers postseasons, in conjunction with Carolina’s bustle to Expansive Bowl 50 in 2015.
A member of among the finest interior-linebacker duos in NFL historical past alongside Thomas Davis, Kuechly used to be a tackle machine. He led the league in tackles in 2012, his rookie year, and 2014. Since entering the league no participant has more tackles than Kuechly (1,092); Davis is fourth (804).
Kuechly used to be among the defining defenders of the 2010s, in the an identical conversation as Patrick Willis, Aaron Donald, Bobby Wagner and J.J. Watt, all of whom boast five first-team All-Pro selections. Love Willis, Kuechly retired in his high and has a big argument to lastly quit up in Canton in the future.
The Panthers big shouldn’t be genuinely the first member of the first spherical of the 2012 draft to prepare a surprise retirement previously six months. First-overall desire Andrew Luck, then 29, also retired this ability that of health and quality of lifestyles reasons this season.
Kuechly would perhaps be remembered for his sideline-to-sideline ferocity and hard-nosed play however now also for a profession shortened by myriad accidents. Kuechly suffered more than one concussions and dealt with more than one shoulder factors everywhere in the abet half of of his profession. He didn’t crawl over a game in his first three seasons, however missed 10 begins from 2015 through 2017.
The Panthers will absolutely crawl over him, as they embark on a big transition in the front area of job with owner David Tepper shaking things up; on the sidelines with Matt Rhule replacing Ron Rivera as head coach; on offense with Cam Newton’s future doubtful; and now on protection without Kuechly calling it quits.
Shaq Thompson stands out as the original chief in the midst of Carolina’s protection, however few avid gamers if any can replicate the leadership and regular play Kuechly equipped the Panthers for eight prominent seasons.