Kuechly, Gates Retire

Billy Woods | January 15th, 2020

Both Luke Kuechly and Antonio Gates retired on Tuesday, signifying an end to two players who are all-time greats for their respective organizations.

live5news.com

The Kuechly decision comes as a surprise, as the star linebacker is only 28 years old. In his eight seasons in the league, Kuechly made seven Pro Bowls, in addition to being a five-time First-Team All-Pro and the tackling leader twice.

Selected ninth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, Kuechly made an immediate impact for the team. In his rookie season, Kuechly recorded a career-high 164 combined tackles, one sack and one interception. He followed that season by winning the Defensive Player of the Year Award in his sophomore campaign, combining for 156 tackles, two sacks and four interceptions.

Since 2012, Kuechly has three seasons with at least 150 tackles. Only 10 other players have made 150 tackles once, with Bobby Wagner doing it twice. In his fourth season, Kuechly anchored a Carolina Panthers defense that lost in the Super Bowl to the Denver Broncos. Kuechly has never finished a season with less than 100 tackles.

The linebacker stated that now was a good time for him to step away from the game, as he gave a three-minute speech on the Panthers Twitter page.

The Gates retirement isn’t surprising, considering he’s retired once before. The 16-year Los Angeles Chargers (it’s a crime that they’re in Los Angeles) legend finished with 116 touchdown receptions, the most ever by a tight end in NFL history.

In his time with the Chargers, Gates was selected to the Pro Bowl eight times and made five All-Pro teams. He is also the Chargers all-time franchise leader in catches (955) and receiving yards (11,841). Quarterback Phillip Rivers and Gates connected for 89 touchdown passes, the most ever for a quarterback-tight end duo.

Gates has a remarkable underdog story, considering he joined the Chargers as an undrafted free agent, having spent his collegiate years playing basketball for Kent State. The tight end caught on quickly, finishing his rookie season with 389 yards and two touchdowns. During his eight-year prime from 2004-2011, Gates had 7,394 receiving yards and 74 touchdowns.

Next Article
  • Aaron Rodgers And Uncertain Future With Packers

    After helplessly watching his team of 15 seasons draft a quarterback in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft instead of a wide receiver, quarterback Aaron Rodgers began to express doubt about his future with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers has long expressed his desire to finish his career with the Packers, but that...

    Read More
  • Durant Won’t Return This Season

    According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant won’t return to the court this season, even if the NBA waits until mid-summer to resume play. Since his Achilles injury in the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors, Durant left the Golden State Warriors and joined the Nets with guard Kyrie Irving. The...

    Read More
  • Quincy Enunwa Out For 2020 Season

    The New York Jets wide receiver, Quincy Enunwa, will miss the entirety of the 2020-2021 NFL season after a neck injury he sustained in the 2019-2020 NFL season, which limited the young receiver to only one game. After his second season in the league, where he caught 58 passes for 857 yards and four touchdowns,...

    Read More
  • Frank Gore Signs With Jets

    The New York Jets are signing running back Frank Gore to a one-year contract for the 36-year-old running back to play in his 17th season. The signing allows for more depth for the Jets, who have Le’Veon Bell in the backfield and under contract. Surprisingly, the Jets didn’t move up in the draft to select...

    Read More
  • NFL Cancels International Games For 2020-2021 Season

    In the midst of the COVID-19 fears, the NFL has canceled all five scheduled international games ahead of the 2020-2021 season. With the NFL releasing the full 17-game regular-season schedule this week, it was previously announced that four games would be played in London and one in Mexico City. The Jacksonville Jaguars were set to...

    Read More
  • Bears Decline Option On Trubisky; Cowboys Sign Dalton

    After a lackluster third season in the NFL, the Chicago Bears have declined to pick up the fifth-year extension for 2021 on quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. In 2018, Trubisky’s second season in the league and one in which he was selected to the Pro Bowl, saw the Bears go 12-4 and lose in a devastating fashion...

    Read More
  • 2020-2021 NBA Season Postponements

    Due to the recent vanishing of sports because of COVID-19, the NBA is considering starting the 2020-2021 NBA season in December, with the playoffs potentially starting in mid-summer. As of right now, the current NBA format starts the season the week before Halloween, with the NBA Finals wrapping up around mid-June. That stretch of time...

    Read More
  • Bengals Release Andy Dalton

    After nine seasons of mediocrity, the Cincinnati Bengals release quarterback Andy Dalton just days after drafting the most recent Heisman winner: quarterback Joe Burrow. Dalton, 32, was the Bengals second-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft after being the all-time leader in wins at Texas Christian University. Dalton threw for 204 touchdowns with the Bengals,...

    Read More