Panthers LB Luke Kuechly announced Tuesday night that he’s retiring from the NFL after seasons.
“In my heart, I know it’s the right thing to do.” pic.twitter.com/mSDyJ0iEMw
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) January 15, 2020
“I think now is the right chance for me to move on,” Kuechly said. “It makes me sad because I love playing this game, I’ve played it since I was a kid. It’s my favorite thing in the world to do. The memories I have from this place and this organization and being on the field with these guys – they’ll never go away.
“In my heart I know it’s the right thing to do… There’s only one way to play this game since I was a little kid – play fast, play physical and play strong. And at this point I don’t know if I am able to do that anymore.”
Jason Fitzgerald notes that Kuechly’s retirement will leave the with $11.84 million of dead money for the 2020 season.
Kuechly, 28, is a former first-round pick of the Panthers back in 2012. He was entering the fifth year of his six-year, $64.105 million contract and set to make a base salary of $10.3 million for the 2019 season.
For his career, Kuechly recorded 1,093 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 18 interceptions, seven forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries, two defensive touchdowns and 67 passes defended. Kuechly was a seven-time Pro Bowler and a five-time first-team All-Pro.