Chandler Catanzaro got to the New York Jets’ facility early Friday morning and headed to Adam Gase’s office to deliver his surprising news.
The 28-year-old kicker chose to retire from playing football after a shaky start to training camp.
“He came in and told me that he was done, retiring,” Gase said Sunday, a few hours after the team announced Catanzaro’s decision.
Catanzaro signed with New York during the offseason for a second stint with the team, but struggled with consistency during camp. He then missed two extra points in the Jets’ 31-22 preseason-opening loss to the Giants on Thursday night.
Apparently, that cemented Catanzaro’s decision.
“What a ride,” Catanzaro wrote on Instagram. “God has blessed me far more than I deserve. When I finished my career at Clemson, playing in the NFL was just a dream. After five years in the league, it’s time to move on. I can’t say I ever thought I would’ve been a kicker, but I’m thankful that kicking chose me.”
Gase said Catanzaro didn’t give him a detailed reason as to why he wanted to walk away from the game, but the coach added he had no idea the kicker was leaning that way.
“I appreciated the fact that he came in there,” Gase said. “He could’ve easily rode it out and kind of seen what happened. But, I appreciate him doing that at that time and just being straight with me.”
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What a ride. God has blessed me far more than I deserve. When I finished my career at Clemson, playing in the NFL was just a dream. After five years in the league, it’s time to move on. I can’t say I ever thought I would’ve been a kicker, but I’m thankful that kicking chose me. I thank God for my ability every day, and I’m forever grateful for all the game of football has provided. I’ve been through the highest of highs, the lowest of lows, and everything in between. I’ve learned so much about myself and about life through the game of football. I have no regrets. I worked my tail off and gave my absolute best every time I stepped onto the field. What will remain, however, are the relationships I’ve built along the way. I want to wholeheartedly thank everyone for the prayers and encouragement along my journey. For my parents and my family for tirelessly supporting me and my dreams. For my wife Mieke for her unconditional love and support and reminding me what is most important in life. For all of my teammates. For the coaches who believed in me the most- you know who you are. It’s time for the next chapter of my life. The best is yet to come!
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SOURCE: USA Today