At age 35, Rashean Mathis is ready to end his football playing days. In an exclusive video with DetroitLions.com reporter Tori Petry, Mathis announced his retirement from the NFL.
"It's been a long 13 years, a great 13 years [...] I think it's time to hang up the cleats," Mathis said on the official team site's video.
It has indeed been a long career for Mathis. He was drafted in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Jaguars and spent the first 10 years of his career in Jacksonville. The Detroit Lions got a hold of him in 2013, and Mathis immediately bolstered a weak secondary. That year, Mathis led the secondary with 15 pass breakups.
Mathis remained effective all the way until last season. There was a noticeable drop in his play, and when Mathis suffered a concussion in Week 7, his season was effectively over.
Mathis has one more year on his contract, but his retirement will clear out at least $1.5 million in cap space, according to sportrac.com.
The veteran cornerback retires at a good point in his career. His playing time lasted much longer than most players, and his high level of play continued until the very end of his career. Mathis retires with 32 career interceptions, 111 passes defended, 8 forced fumbles and 4 touchdowns.