Panthers LB Luke Kuechly retires from the NFL

Panthers LB Luke Kuechly retires from the NFL

The NFL's biggest names were left stunned at the immediate retirement of Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly after just eight seasons in the NFL. "The memories I have of this place and this organization and of being in the country with these guys, will never go away".

In an emotional video message, Kuechly said the physical toll football had taken on his body contributed to his decision. "There's been a lot of studies and a lot of different literature on concussion and head trauma and that kind of deal, and I think it's a new subject that we're constantly learning more and more about".

So when Kuechly announced his decision to retire from the game he loved so much, a huge sigh of disbelief and disappointment arose from National Football League fans.

"It's my favourite thing in the world to do".

"That's the part that's the most hard". "Luke is a once-in-a-generation player and someone we want every member of this organization to emulate".

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The middle linebacker is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and was named Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2012 and Defensive Player of the Year in 2013.

The Panthers linebacker will be remembered for his performance on the field, his dedication to watching game film, his ability to recognize opponents' plays consistently before the snap and for being a role model. He is widely regarded as the league's best linebacker and will finish his career with 1,092 tackles, 18 interceptions, 12.5 sacks, and 66 pass defenses in 118 regular season games.

Some observers say the smart move for the Panthers would be to hire Kuechly immediately as the defensive coordinator.

Kuechly had major concussion issues early in his career but had only missed one game through the past three seasons.

Fellow Panthers Greg Olsen and Tre Boston described Kuechly as one of the best teammates they ever shared the locker room with, with Boston championing his former teammate as a future Hall of Famer. The respect he gives and garners from others to boot as the sure impression he has on his peers is 2d to none. The next season, he was crowned Defensive Player of the Year. "His presence can't be replicated". "The game will miss you as much as you miss the game bro".

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