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Offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz, a four-time All-Pro pick, announced his retirement from the NFL on Thursday after nine seasons.
Schwartz, 33, did not play last season after being released by the Kansas City Chiefs in March last year. He underwent surgery in February last year for a back injury that prematurely ended his season in 2020 and got a series of 134 consecutive starts.
In his statement sent to social media on Thursday, Schwartz wrote that he has been doing rehab ever since the surgery.
“I’m feeling just as good right now as I’ve been doing since then, but it’s clear my body will never be the same. The nerve pain down my legs is no longer a daily occurrence, but it may never completely go away.” he said in the statement.
Schwartz spent his first four NFL seasons with the Cleveland Browns, who selected him in the second round of the 2012 draft from Cal. He signed with the Chiefs in 2016 as a free agent and was All-Pro every season from 2016 to 2019, including being selected to the first team in 2018.
He had a streak of 7,894 consecutive snaps to begin his offensive career before being briefly knocked out of a mid-season game in 2019. However, he did not miss a game that season, also starting each of the Chiefs’ three post-season games, Among other things, their 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIFE to earn their first championship ring.
“Winning the Super Bowl was the highlight of my career,” he said. “I have met so many amazing people and created relationships that will last a lifetime. Football was a big part of my life and will always be. I love the game and have a passion for sharing my knowledge. But I have never defined myself as a football player. ”
In fact, the amiable offensive lineman has built a massive following just as much for his cooking demonstrations as his often ardent criticism of the NFL. “Mitch in the Kitch” videos have been posted on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and his own blog.
“I have enjoyed my time in the NFL so much and walk away feeling fulfilled,” said Schwartz, whose brother, Geoff, played six NFL seasons. “I have other interests that I want more time to explore: food / cooking and my ‘Mitch in the Kitch’ series, travel, golf, watch. But most importantly, I get more time with my wife , Brooke, and our two little dogs. ”
He ended his statement by thanking the city of Kansas City and Chiefs fans.
“My last thanks are to Kansas City and all the Chiefs fans. Being Chief is so much more than wearing a red jersey. It has been a privilege to represent you on and off the field,” he said in the statement. “The bond I have formed with this city and the people here lasts forever and is a big reason why Brooke and I will stay in KC in the long run.
“There was no better indication of the size of the Chiefs Kingdom than the parade. Seeing that Sea of Red was amazing and put into perspective how many people cheered on us, knowing that there were many more who could not “This city and its support are hard to describe until you have felt it personally. I am a boss forever and there is no other place I would rather be.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.