The NFL offseason heading into the 2019 season has been filled with several trades and free agent signings. It’s also had its share of retirements, including Rob Gronkowski deciding not to come back. Some NFL retirement announcements are ho-hum affairs in front of the media. For some players, announcing their retirement is a chance to make one final impact before transitioning to their post-NFL career. Take the Baltimore Ravens’ Haloti Ngata, for example. He retired this offseason, and he did it in epic fashion. How exactly did Ngata retire, and where does his method rank among the best NFL retirement announcements of all time? Let’s take a closer look to find out.
5. Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning will always be remembered as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Along with having a great arm and unrivaled accuracy, he was one of the best at operating at the line of scrimmage. Manning was less like a QB and more like a conductor leading an orchestra through a complicated concerto. He would bark out audibles, read the defense, or yell his favorite signal of “Omaha!”
It was fitting, then, when Manning announced his retirement that he would end the presser by shouting one of his very favorite line of scrimmage calls. Manning left the assembled crowd with one final “Omaha” before heading off into the sunset to enjoy a well-earned retirement.
4. Jared Allen
Speaking of riding off into the sunset, Jared Allen wanted to leave the game by doing just that. The sun wasn’t out the day he retired, however, so he had to settle for just riding off.
Allen appeared in a video posted to his Instagram in which he thanked his fans for the support during his career, only to take off through the snow on a galloping horse to end it.
3. Haloti Ngata
On March 18, 2019, Ngata announced he was ending his brilliant 13-year NFL career. He wanted to do something spectacular to show how high he’d climbed on his journey to being an NFL superstar. So he made the announcement from somewhere that would represent a metaphor of making it to the pinnacle of his sport. He did it from the top of one of the highest mountains in the world.
Ngata posted a picture of himself to Instagram from the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro holding a sign that read, “I’m retiring from the NFL on top.” With the photo, he included a heartfelt message of gratitude to his supporters.
Located in Tanzania in East Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain and the world’s largest free-standing mountain at 19,341 feet tall
When the five-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion Ngata said he was retiring on top, he meant it literally.
2. Charles Tillman
Charles “Peanut” Tillman was known as one of the NFL’s most entertaining players. It should come as no surprise then that he has one of the most memorable retirement announcements we can think of.
Tillman recorded a hilarious video to announce his retirement — you have to watch it in its entirety since a description doesn’t do it justice. He ended the video by thanking his fans for all the love and support. Tillman is now exploring a new and unlikely career as an FBI agent.
1. Marshawn Lynch
Marshawn Lynch is one of the most unpredictable personalities in the history of the NFL, and he left the game with one of the most unpredictable retirement announcements we can remember.
During his first retirement (he’s since returned to the league), Lynch left the game in a way only he could. He tweeted a picture of a pair of sneakers thrown over power lines with a peace sign emoji.
There was no additional context. The tweet contained no words. Just a simple message that everyone who understood Lynch would get. The best part about this tweet is that Lynch tweeted it the evening of February 7, 2016. That was during the middle of Super Bowl 50 between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.