Buc’s Pro Bowl guard Marpet retires at age 28

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TAMPA, Fla. – In a shocking move, Buccaneers Pro Bowl left guard Ali Marpet is retiring, he announced on Instagram.

Marpet is only 28 years old and finished his first Pro Bowl season. He is without a doubt considered one of the best – if not the best – Buccaneers offensive linemen.

A source told ESPN that Marpet made the decision due to concerns about his general health.

“After seven formidable years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I have come to the decision to retire from the game that has given me so much,” he wrote in his post. “This organization and the people around it have not only helped fulfill a dream, but also helped build me into the person I am today. I have made Tampa Bay my home, and I see to serve this community for years to come. the coaches and teammates, family and friends, an Instagram post simply can not express the profound impact you have had on me. I am eternally grateful. Thank you Tampa Bay. “

A second-round draft pick out of Hobart College in 2015, Marpet became the highest-drafted player (61st overall) in Division III history. He also became the first Division III player selected in the top 100 of the draft since 1990.

“It has been one of my greatest professional tensions to see his rapid rise from a small college eminent to one [of] The NFL’s best offensive linemen, Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said in a statement.

The Bucs are already facing the daunting challenge of replacing future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady. Filling the void left by Marpet, who only missed 12 games in seven seasons, will be another big challenge.

Marpet was to earn $ 10 million by 2022.

“I can not say enough about what Ali has meant to our team in the three seasons since my arrival. He has been the perfect professional and has been a rock for us inside our offensive line,” Buccaneer coach Bruce Arians said in a statement. “We’ll miss him on the pitch and in the locker room, but I’m glad he’s coming out as the Super Bowl champion and Pro Bowler. It’s never easy to say goodbye to a player who has meant so much to ours. success. ” , but I support and respect his decision and wish him a good life after football. “

Marpet has sat on Bucs’ advisory committee on social justice and met last summer with Vice President Kamala Harris during the team’s visit to the White House to discuss voting rights.

In his statement, Licht praised Marpet for providing “the vision and passion that was crucial” to the Buccaneers’ Advisory Council on Social Justice “launch and ongoing work.”

From 2018 to 2021, Marpet recorded a 93.7% pass block win rate, which ranked ninth in the league among guards, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. He became one of just six players to have a pass block win rate of 92% or higher at guard in each of the last four seasons, joining Quenton Nelson, Zack Martin, Joel Bitonio, Brandon Scherff and Andrew Norwell .

Marpet’s most memorable game was without a doubt pulling to the outside of Leonard Fournette’s 27-yard touchdown run in Super Bowl LV, which the Bucs won 31-9 over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Current and former Buccaneers teammates showered Marpet with praise in the comments to his Instagram post.

“Congratulations, @AliMarpet you are a warrior,” Brady wrote. “It was an honor !!”

• Best friend and left tackle Donovan Smith wrote, “Love you my guy,” along with an emoji with tears and a heart.

• “Be an honorary brother! Enjoy retirement,” wrote center Ryan Jensen.

Inside linebacker Lavonte David wrote: “It was definitely an honor to be in your presence daily my guy! Enjoy retirement!”

• “Love you, brother happy retiree,” wrote wide receiver Mike Evans.

“I think he’s achieved his goals, values ​​his health, is looking for more challenges. Ali has a very strong inner voice and he’s brave enough to follow it. I’m in awe,” Marpet’s father, Bill, said. to ESPN.

In addition to Brady’s and Marpet’s departures, Jensen, also a Pro Bowler, and right guard Alex Cappa, a Pro Bowl alternate, are set to become unlimited free agents next month.

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