Ali Marpet, the Pro Bowl guard for the Buccaneers, announced his retirement from the NFL at just 28 years old on Sunday afternoon.
“After seven formidable years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I’ve come to the decision to retire from the game that has given me so much,” Marpet wrote in an Instagram post.
“This organization and the people surrounding it have not only helped fulfill a dream, but also helped build me into the person I am today. I’ve made Tampa Bay my home and I look forward to serving this community in the coming years. To the coaches and teammates, family and friends, an Instagram post simply can’t express the profound impact you’ve had on me. I’m eternally grateful. Thank you Tampa Bay.”
Marpet, a Hastings-on-Hudson native, is notable for being the first NFL player to come out of Division III Hobart College since Fred King in 1937.
He started in Tampa Bay upon being drafted in the third round in 2015, playing both guard spots as well as center during the course of his career.
It’s unclear exactly why Marpet is choosing to retire at a young age, but it puts the Bucs offense in more of a bind. Replacing Tom Brady — likely with 2021 second-round pick Kyle Trask — remains their biggest task this offseason, but now they’ll have to do so with a new center as well.
“I can’t say enough about what Ali has meant to our team over the three seasons since my arrival,” Bucs coach Bruce Arians said in a statement. “He has been the consummate professional and has been a rock for us in the interior of our offensive line. We will miss him on the field and in the locker room, but I am happy that he gets to go out as a Super Bowl champion and Pro Bowler. It is never easy saying goodbye to a player who has meant so much to our success, but I support and respect his decision and wish him a great life after football.”
Elsewhere on their offensive line, right guard Alex Cappa and center Ryan Jensen are set to hit free agency.