Players come and go like the wind in this league. Every offseason, handfuls of veteran players call it quits. This one was no different. If you weren’t watching the NFL offseason like a hawk you probably missed some of them. No worries, I got you covered. Check out this list of big name players who chose to hang up the cleats once and for all in 2017.
Vince Wilfork announced the end of a historic career in August after signing a one-day contract with the New England Patriots, a team he played with for over a decade and won two Super Bowls with. As a Patriot, Wilfork appeared in five Pro Bowls and was named First-Team All-Pro in 2012.
Since we’re on the topic of legendary Patriots, Rob Ninkovich is another guy who announced his retirement over the offseason. The veteran linebacker was drafted by the Saints in 2006, where he played for three seasons before signing with the Patriots where he would go on to win two championships.
The former fifth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens played only three seasons in the NFL before announcing his retirement. Urschel, who earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mathematics at Penn State, began a Ph.D. at MIT in 2016. That same year, he appeared on Forbes’ “30 under 30” for top young scientists. Urschel never went into specifics with his statement, but it’s fair to assume his passion for academics outweighed his love for the game of football.
The undrafted receiver out of Toledo began his career in the CFL, where he played with the Montreal Alouettes, before finding his way back to the NFL. He was waived by the Rams in 2011 and claimed by the Bengals. The diminutive pass-catcher played six seasons in the NFL for the Bengals and the Browns, working predominantly in the slot. Hawkins signed a one-year deal with the Patriots but announced his retirement just a month later.