We all knew this day would come. It was inevitable.
The best player in Philadelphia Eagles history -- and arguably National Football League history -- is stepping away from the game.
G.J. Kinne has announced his retirement from the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Look, Kinne might not get the widespread respect of the media or fans, but it's obvious to those who REALLY know football just how good he was. And that's not all. He's a legitimately good guy who loves Philly fans.
Gotta love Eagles fans...the best in the NFL. Very thankful to have played for such a great city and organization. https://t.co/pqaI1S7x7W— GJ Kinne (@GJKinne) May 5, 2016
Kinne's Philadelphia career began back when the Eagles signed him during the 2013 offseason. Most figured he'd only be a camp arm, but in reality he was so much more than that. Kinne was willing to do anything that helped the team in practice. Whether that meant throwing a football, or lining up as a safety, or being a returner on special teams, or even converting his entire position from quarterback to wide receiver ... you name it, he did it.
It saddens me to say Kinne never made the regular season roster. But he did stay on the practice squad for a few seasons. And he served as that valuable, selfless player that went unnoticed behind the scenes. He helped the Eagles prepare in a stretch where they went 20-12 over two seasons. Since releasing Kinne, the Eagles have declined to 14-18 in their last 32 games.
When it comes to Kinne, I'm obviously biased in favor of him. But he's given me good reason to act that way. He's always taken these kind of posts I've written about him in stride. He really seems to appreciate them (at least, I hope he does).
We haven't ever spoken in person, but I'd had a number of interactions with Kinne on Twitter. He was literally one of the first people to congratulate me on getting a new job last fall. He didn't need to do that. That just goes to show what kind of a cool, humble dude he is.
To win in the NFL, you need talent. You can't just have a roster full of good guys, unfortunately. Sacrifices are made when it comes to weighing skill versus character. But although Kinne might not be one of the most dominant athletes ever, he seems to have a kind heart, and that shouldn't go underappreciated. NFL camp bodies might not excite you, but they're human beings, just like you and me.
The truth is we need more people like G.J. Kinne in this world.
Thank you, G.J. Best wishes in retirement.