Panthers Star Linebacker Luke Kuechly Shockingly Retires at Age 28
Dec 8, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) greets teammates after a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
In a stunning announcement on Tuesday night, Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly announced his retirement from the league.
In an emotional video, Kuechly said, “In my heart, I know it’s the right thing to do.” He explained that he didn’t feel as if he was able to play fast, physical or strong any longer.
Kuechly was a first-round pick for the Panthers in 2012 and is arguably one of the best linebackers in the league as well as one of the greatest players to ever wear a Panthers uniform. His resume includes seven Pro Bowls, seven AP All-Pro selections (with five of them being first-team picks), Defensive Player of the Year in the 2013 and Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2012.
Kuechly finishes his career with 1,092 tackles, which is the most in the league since he entered and his 18 interceptions are the most by a linebacker in the same amount of time and the third-most in franchise history in addition to the 75 tackles for loss tying for fifth-most among linebackers in that timespan. Kuechly will go down in history as part of the three Carolina teams that won the NFC South in 2012 through 2015 and he was also a part of the team that faced the Denver Broncos in the 2015 Super Bowl.
Panthers owner David Tepper expressed his gratitude for all Kuechly has done for the organization and the region in his time with Carolina. “Luke is a once-in-a-generation players and someone we want every member of this organization to emulate,” Tepper stated.
The face, the heart, the soul of our defense.https://t.co/3SaWsUHL9k
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) January 15, 2020