The NFL offseason often brings a lot of changes and excitement to teams and their fans. Additions to teams, beloved players or coaches leaving, hold outs, the draft, drama is always present in the offseason. However, when a player retires, the drama seems to subside, and nostalgia takes over.
We all know its coming. No one can play football forever. But when a player has made an impact on the league, it’s hard to imagine them not being on the field anymore. It feels like a loss for fans, but a loss that they understand and respect.
The start of the 2019 NFL year has had a number of notable retirements, and its only March. Here are a handful of newly retired players that will be missed by fans.
Julius Peppers. Defensive God. His name alone put fear in the hearts of offensive coordinators around the league. In his amazing 17 year career which included time playing for the Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers, and Chicago Bears, Peppers was a 6 time All Pro, with 9 Pro Bowl nods. It’s straight to Canton for Julius.
After a disappointing, dismal appearance in a week three loss to the New Orlean Saints, the Carolina Panthers seemed to get it together against the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots in week four.
Film study, stout defense, and a patient offense proved to be a difference maker on Sunday. The Patriots entered the game as the worst defense in the league and likely remained the same. Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula showed balance with his play calling, 29 rushing attempts and 29 passing plays.
Quarterback Cam Newton dissected a struggling Patriot defense going 22 of 29 passing, for 316 yards, four touchdowns touchdowns (including one rushing), and one interception. Running backs Jonathan Stewart, and Christian McCaffrey, wide receiver Damiere Byrd along with Newton himself added another 140 yards on the ground.
Charlotte, NC– Entering their third game of the 2017 season, the Carolina Panthers had defensive momentum on their side. That momentum dissipated quickly on Sunday. After two impressive first series, that momentum disintegrated into two field goals. Here is the Good, Bad, Ugly and Beautiful from Sunday’s game.
The Good: Running back Jonathan Stewart ran extremely hard on Sunday. He now only trails former Carolina Panther running back (breast cancer advocate extraordinaire) Deangelo Williams by 46 yards for the franchise record. Running back Christian Mccaffrey had the first 100-yard receiving game by a running back in Carolina since 2011. ( Hey, Stewart!!)
Wide receiver Samuel Curtis has the longest rush of the season for 30 yards.
Only one penalty for each team. Kicker Graham Gano is 8 for 8. He should be 9-9 (see the bad)