TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Pro Bowl offensive lineman Ali Marpet caught the Tampa Bay Buccaneers off guard Sunday, announcing his retirement from the NFL at age 28.
A second-round draft pick out of tiny Hobart College in 2015, Marpet became a starter at right guard as a rookie. He transitioned to center the following season and later settled in at left guard, where he helped the 2020 Bucs win the Super Bowl and was a first-time Pro Bowl selection in 2021.
Marpet announced the decision on Instagram. He did not give a reason for the surprising move.
“After seven formidable years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I’ve come to the decision to retire from the game that has given me so much. This organization and the people surrounding it have helped build me into the person I am today,” Marpet wrote.
“To the coaches and teammates, family and friends, an Instagram post simply can’t express the profound impact you’ve had on me,” Marpet added. “I’m eternally grateful. Thank you, Tampa Bay.”
The move comes just weeks after quarterback Tom Brady announced his retirement after 22 seasons. It also means the Bucs potentially may have to replace three offensive lineman this winter, with Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen and right guard Alex Cappa set to become free agents in March.
“I want to thank Ali for all that he had done as a valued member of the Buccaneers organization over the past seven seasons. He has played a key role in our success both on and off the field and we will certainly his leadership and professionalism,” Bucs general manager Jason Licht said in a statement released Twitter.
“As the highest Division III player ever drafted, Ali always seemed destined for greatness on the NFL level,” Licht added, “and we simply could not have attained the success of the past two seasons without him.”
Coach Bruce Arians described Marpet as a “consummate professional’’ and “a rock for us in the interior of our offensive line.”
“It is never easy saying goodbye to a player who has meant so much to our success,” Arians added, “but I support and respect his decision and wish him a great life after football.”
Marpet had two seasons remaining on a five-year, $54.125 million contract he signed in October 2018. He was due to earn a base salary of $10 million next season.
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