Published: Sun, January 01, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Colts DE Mathis announces retirement

Mathis said today that he made the decision midway through the season, a few weeks before the Packers game.

"Since 2003, you guys, you've embraced me. I bleed blue through and through".

Mathis' retirement all but insures the Colts will use their first round pick on a pass rusher, with Alabama's Tim Williams being a likely candidate. Mathis appealed, stating it was for fertility purposes, but would miss a year that would have been critical to his Hall of Fame statistics. That's the most in National Football League history, and Mathis scored three touchdowns on fumble recoveries. "I've been around locker rooms with Johnny Unitas on forward and that man right there (pointing to Mathis) is one of the best football players I have ever seen".

Even though Mathis will no longer be part of the playing family of the Colts, his impact and longevity is unparalleled. He now sits at 18th all-time in sacks, just half-a-sack behind another Colts legend, Dwight Freeney. "Stomp with the big dogs basically".

Mathis came back from the 2014 Achilles injury to post 11 sacks in his final two seasons. He got emotional at a press conference today, thanking a number of people, from Jim Irsay to general managers to coaches to some players, and he said that he'll be around Indy still.

Mathis played in 18 playoff games and two Super Bowls with the Colts. He's the team's leader in career sacks and single-season sacks, while he's also the NFL's career leader in forced fumbles.

He is seventh in franchise history in games played, and joins icons Johnny Unitas, Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne as the players who turned out for the Colts for 14 seasons.

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