Former Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Haloti Ngata announced he’s retiring from the NFL via his official Instagram account on Monday morning (hat tip to PhillyVoice).
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Just a man standing on top of the world with a heart full of gratitude. Thank you Lord for letting me play the game I love for 13 unforgettable years. I’m retiring on top. I might be finished playing football, but I’m holding tight to the friendships, memories and wisdom I’ve gained along the way. “Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.” Walking away with no regrets, just peace in knowing I gave it my all and had a helluva lot of fun doing it. #kissestotheskyformomanddad @ravens @detroitlionsnfl @philadelphiaeagles
This news hardly comes as a surprise. Ngata, a free agent, turned 35 years old in January and wasn’t very effective last year.
Despite ending on a quiet note, Ngata had a strong career. The No. 12 overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft lasted 13 seasons in the league: nine with the Baltimore Ravens, three with the Detroit Lions, and one with the Eagles. In 180 games played, Ngata logged 519 tackles, 32.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles, five interceptions, and one defensive touchdown. Ngata made the playoffs in 10 out of his 13 years and won a Super Bowl with the Ravens back in 2012.
The Eagles signed Ngata to a one-year contract in free agency last year to help offset the loss of Beau Allen as a No. 3 defensive tackle. With Timmy Jernigan suffering an offseason injury, however, Ngata was forced into starting and playing more often than he ideally should have been.
With Ngata retiring and Jernigan’s option declined, the Eagles will have some new faces at defensive tackle in 2019. Fletcher Cox remains an All-Pro level starter while the newly signed Malik Jackson is looking to bounce back after a disappointing 2018 campaign. The Eagles also still have playoff hero Treyvon Hester under contract but that won’t preclude them from likely selecting an interior defensive lineman with at least one of their first three picks in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Good luck in retirement, Haloti.