In a shocking development, Carolina Panthers All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly is retiring from the NFL after 8 Seasons. Kuechly will finish his career with 1,092 tackles and 18 interceptions. More impressively Kuechly is a 5-time All-Pro. Kuechly was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2012 and won the NFL Defense Player of the Year in 2013.
It is sad to see Kuechly end his career at only 28 years old but it makes sense. Kuechly has had a history with concussions and with all of the latest developments in the studies of CTE he may just be saving his life. Kuechly has suffered three concussions from September 13, 2015, to October 12, 2017. It is a miracle he was still playing at such a high level in the first place.
Kuechly’s retirement is reminiscent of fellow 2012 first-round pick Andrew Luck. As he retired before the 2019 season. Kuechly is not the first All-Pro linebacker to step away early. This retirement reminds me of when Patrick Willis retired after eight seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.
Willis much like Kuechly was a 5-time All-Pro and also chose to step away due to lingering injuries.
Willis was eligible for Hall of Fame induction this year and was left off of the ballot. Personally, I thought this was wrong. It will be interesting to see if Kuechly will find himself in Canton.
To me, Luke Kuechly is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. As a fan who has watched him play since Boston College, thank you, Luke. Thank you for putting your body on the line and entertaining us for the last 10 years. It’s been a great run.
Can’t wait to see you in Canton.