Panthers All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly has announced his decision to retire via the team's Twitter account on Tuesday night.
This is pretty surprising news. Kuechly is only 28 and just finished up his eighth NFL season. But it's not as shocking as, say, Andrew Luck's retirement in August due to Kuechly's concussion history; he had three serious concussions in three consecutive years from 2015-2017.
Kuechly will retire a five-time All-Pro and owner of the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year award trophy. In 118 games, he racked up 1,092 tackles, 18 interceptions, and 75 tackles for loss. He'll be remembered as one of the best linebackers of the decade, a sideline-to-sideline stud who tackled everything in sight.
The Panthers will be hard-pressed to replace their longtime defensive stalwart.