Offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz, a four-time All-Pro selection, announced his retirement from the NFL on Thursday after nine seasons. The 33-year-old Schwartz didn’t play last season after he was released by the Kansas City Chiefs last March. He had surgery last February for a back injury that prematurely ended his season in 2020, snapping his streak of 134 consecutive starts.
Schwartz spent his first four NFL seasons with the Cleveland Browns; he signed with the Chiefs in 2016 as a free agent and was an All-Pro each season from 2016 through 2019, including being selected to the first team in 2018. He had a streak of 7,894 consecutive offensive snaps to begin his career before briefly being knocked out of a midseason game in 2019.
Announcing his retirement in a statement posted to social media on Thursday, Schwartz wrote that he has been in rehab since his surgery, and doing well: “I’m currently feeling as good as I have since then, but it’s clear my body won’t ever be the same. The nerve pain down my legs is no longer a daily occurrence, but it might never fully go away.” He later added: “I’ve enjoyed so much my time in the NFL and walk away feeling fulfilled. I have other interests that I’ll have more time to explore: food/cooking and my ‘Mitch in the Kitch’ series, travel, golf, horology. But most importantly, I’ll have more time with my wife, Brooke, and our two little dogs.”
Schwartz also thanked the city of Kansas City and Chiefs fans: “My last thank you is to Kansas City, and all the Chiefs fans. Being a Chief is so much more than putting on a red jersey. It has been a privilege to represent you on and off the field. The bond I’ve formed with this city and the people here lasts forever and is a big reason why Brooke and I are staying in KC long term. There was no better indication of the magnitude of Chiefs Kingdom than the parade. Seeing that Sea of Red was amazing and put into perspective just how many people cheer us on, knowing there were many more that couldn’t attend. This city and its support is hard to describe until you’ve felt it personally. I am forever a Chief and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”
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