Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly announces retirement

CHARLOTTE NORTH CAROLINA- DECEMBER 29 Luke Kuechly #59 of the Carolina Panthers before their game against the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium

Seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker Luke Kuechly, the most prolific National Football League tackleer since he was recruited by the Carolina Panthers in 2012, has announced that he will retire at age 28.

The NFL Playoffs aren't done yet, but the offseason is already kicking off with a shocking development, as Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly announced his retirement after just eight seasons Tuesday night.

"It's a tough decision", he said. But he has a history of concussions and said, "In my heart, I know it's the right thing to do".

I'm not quite sure what to say about Luke Kuechly's surprising resignation, except maybe: If he's happy with his decision, I'm happy for him. Having to play the Panthers twice a year with Kuechly is a concept that makes any offensive player uneasy.

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"It's my favourite thing in the world to do". Rivera has always been known as a great guy and a player's coach, so it's no surprise that his relationship with Kuechly was a strong one. "And at this point I don't know if I can do it anymore". Certainly, he is probably going one of the most top players to ever wear a Carolina uniform and one of the most appropriate linebackers the game has ever seen.

Kuechly earned Pro Bowl selections in every season except his rookie campaign, and his five first-team All-Pro nods since 2012 ranked tied for first with Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner and Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.

In 2017, the linebacker was placed on the concussion protocol following a game against the Philadelphia Eagles, forcing him to sit out the next week's game.

Owner David Tepper praised the "tremendous impact" Kuechly has had on the organization. "In my two seasons with Luke, I quickly recognized how special of a person he is. His presence can not be replicated". Nicknamed a "tackling machine" at Boston College, he finished his National Football League career with 1,092 tackles, the most by any player since 2012. The announcement came via the Panthers Twitter page in a video where an emotional Kuechly explains the decision. Health concerns were not specifically mentioned in his retirement video, but many are set to wonder why a player who is seemingly still in the prime of his career would choose to voluntarily walk away from a game he was still so dominant at playing.

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