Mitchell Schwartz, an offensive tackle who has been an All-Pro selection four times, announced his retirement from the NFL on Thursday after nine seasons.
Schwartz, 33, was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs in March of last year, so he was unable to play. He underwent back surgery in February of last year to treat a condition that caused his 2020 season to stop early and broke a run of 134 consecutive starts.
Schwartz stated in a message shared on social media on Thursday that he had been through rehab ever since the surgery.
“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,” In the statement, he noted.
The Cleveland Browns selected Schwartz out of Cal in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft, and he played his first four seasons of professional football with them. He became a free agent and joined the Chiefs in 2016. From 2016 through 2019, he was an All-Pro every year, making the first team in 2018.
Prior to being briefly sidelined in a midseason game in 2019, he had a run of 7,894 consecutive offensive snaps to start his career. However, he didn’t miss a game that season and started all three of the Chiefs’ postseason contests, including their 31-20 triumph over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, which gave him his first championship ring.
“Winning the Super Bowl was the pinnacle of my career,” he said. “I’ve met so many great people and forged relationships that will last a lifetime. Football was a big part of my life and always will be. I love the game and have a passion for sharing my knowledge. But I never defined myself as a football player.”
In fact, the affable offensive lineman has amassed a sizable fan base for both his cooking demos and his frequently scathing criticisms of the NFL. Videos from Mitch in the Kitch are shared on his blog, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
“I’ve enjoyed so much my time in the NFL and walk away feeling fulfilled,” said Schwartz, whose brother, Geoff, played six NFL seasons. “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.”
He thanked Kansas City and the Chiefs fans as he concluded his comments.
“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,” he said in the statement. “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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