Unquestionably, he's one of the greatest players to ever wear a Carolina uniform and one of the best linebackers the game has ever seen.
"Now is the right time for me", Kuechley said in the video post. "And at this point I don't know if I am able to do that anymore".
"While I wish we could have him for many more years, he has done everything the right way and we respect the decision he has made", Panthers owner David Tepper said.
Through his decorated career, Kuechly was a seven-time Pro Bowler, five-time first-team All Pro, 2013 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and 2012 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
This is yet another in a long line of prominent National Football League players announcing their retirement before the age of 30. His most games missed in a single season came in 2016 when he cleared concussion protocol after three games, but with just three games remaining in the season and the team out of playoff contention, the Panthers elected to keep him off the field, a decision he did not agree with at the time.
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After starring at Boston College, Kuechly was drafted by the Panthers with the No. 9 of the 2012 NFL Draft before having a stellar career in Carolina. "That's the part that's the most hard".
Replacing Kuechly at this stage of his career, still seemingly in his prime, will be hard for the Panthers.
Kuechly wasn't without injury troubles on the field, suffering three concussions in as many years between 2015 and 2017 while also requiring multiple surgeries on his right shoulder.
With Kuechly gone, the Panthers lose one of their biggest locker room leaders at a time of transition.
But Kuechly later said he wasn't concerned about concussions affecting his future. 49ers linebackers Patrick Willis, 30-years old, and Chris Borland, 24-years old, also retired after the 2014 season. With Ron Rivera being fired and Matt Rhule taking over, Kuechly made sure to mention that his decision had nothing to do with the new coaching staff. "For me, now is the right opportunity to move in a different direction".