The dominos are starting to fall for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tom Brady retired after 22 seasons in the NFL.
There’s also a big chance that some of their key players might leave through free agency.
Finally, offensive lineman Ali Marpet called it quits after seven seasons with Tampa Bay.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport shared the news via Twitter over the weekend.
#Bucs Pro Bowl guard Ali Marpet has made the decision to retire at age 28. The Super Bowl champion started since he entered the NFL from little Hobart College and has been stellar. Now, calls it quits. pic.twitter.com/JCcjRLPlkg
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 27, 2022
Rapoport said, “#Bucs Pro Bowl guard Ali Marpet has made the decision to retire at age 28. The Super Bowl champion started since he entered the NFL from little Hobart College and has been stellar. Now, calls it quits.”
Marpet is an inspirational story for football players who never made it to big-name schools.
He became the highest-drafted player in Division III history when the Buccaneers selected him in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Since then, he went on to miss just 12 games in seven seasons.
His most memorable play will be the pull block he threw to set up Leonard Fournette‘s touchdown in Super Bowl LV.
Marpet is also one of only six players with a pass block win rate of at least 92 percent in each of the last four seasons (2018 to 2021).
Health Is Marpet’s Primary Concern
Despite the medical advancements and rule changes to enhance player safety, football remains a brutal sport, especially for offensive linemen like Marpet.
They clash with their counterparts on defense on almost every snap and they also put their bodies on the line to make key blocks for their running backs.
That said, the physical toll of the game could be too much for these players to bear.
But even if Marpet is leaving football earlier than expected, he has nothing but gratitude for the opportunity.
Unfortunately, the Buccaneers must move on and they must find a way to fill the huge void he will leave behind.