CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers star linebacker Luke Kuechly announced on Tuesday night he is stepping away from football.
The seven-time Pro Bowler had been with the Panthers since 2012.
Kuechly was taken with the ninth overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Boston College.
He was First-Team All-Pro five times and won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 2013.
Kuechly was also the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2012 and the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2011.
He finishes his eight-year NFL career with 690 solo tackles, 402 assists on tackles and 18 interceptions.
“In my heart, I know it’s the right thing to do.” pic.twitter.com/mSDyJ0iEMw— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) January 15, 2020
The face, the heart, the soul of our defense.https://t.co/3SaWsUHL9k— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) January 15, 2020
Words can’t describe who Luke Kuechly is as a person, friend, and teammate. We have shared countless memories together both on the field and away from it. I feel honored to be his friend and I’ll always appreciate the impact he has had on my life. Love you buddy pic.twitter.com/0DHYkOwDp1— Greg Olsen (@gregolsen88) January 15, 2020
Thank you for some of the best memories both on and off the field. I’m so honored to have shared the field with not just the best player I’ve ever seen, but the best person I’ve ever met. Will always love you bro! To retirement🍻🎣@LukeKuechly— Christian McCaffrey (@CMC_22) January 15, 2020
Luke kuechly is one of most pure and authentic people i’ve met! He was a great teammate and friend! honored to have played with you! The gridiron will miss your presence but I’m excited to see what the next chapter has for you! love you Bro! #KeepPounding pic.twitter.com/0a6k4urcRu— Jonathan Stewart (@Jonathanstewar1) January 15, 2020
I couldn’t be more proud to call you my brother! Congrats on a heck of a career! The game will miss you as much as you miss the game bro! I love you my brother! https://t.co/6jw3C1xeZK— Thomas Davis (@ThomasDavisSDTM) January 15, 2020