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Report: Ravens center Matt Birk set to retire Friday

Super Bowl XLVII - Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

It took 15 seasons for Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk to win his first Super Bowl.

Apparently he intends on going out a champion. According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, Birk is set to announce his retirement on Friday.

Birk is expected to make an announcement during a school appearance.

Birk spent his first 11 seasons in the league with the Minnesota Vikings before signing with Baltimore in 2009. Birk has started 187 games over 15 seasons. Birk has been named to the Pro Bowl six times and a two-time All-Pro.

Per Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com, Birk’s retirement will also save the cash-strapped Ravens $2 million in cap space for next season.

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63 Responses to “Report: Ravens center Matt Birk set to retire Friday”
  1. borisbulldog says: Feb 22, 2013 2:08 AM

    Performance wise Birk retired 3 years ago, he just didn’t know it!

  2. dmravens says: Feb 22, 2013 2:12 AM

    Great player and person. Going out a champion, well deserved.

    @Birk – Thank You and Good Luck
    @Gino Gradkowski – Wishing you similar career success as your predecessor, Good Luck #timetostepup

  3. RavenzGunnerz says: Feb 22, 2013 2:18 AM

    Going out on the top?

    YESSSIR!!!

  4. nwofolife says: Feb 22, 2013 2:46 AM

    End of an era. Both Saturday and now Birk. The best centers I’ve seen since Dermontti Dawson retired.

  5. dannymac17 says: Feb 22, 2013 2:50 AM

    A real HOF center. Book it.

  6. satanicxhellxcreature says: Feb 22, 2013 2:53 AM

    A class act, congrats to Matty B for getting out healthy and a champ.

  7. broncoswizard46 says: Feb 22, 2013 3:13 AM

    He deserved to go out on top.

  8. timegambit says: Feb 22, 2013 4:19 AM

    Going out on top! Nice, Matty.

    Hey, maybe TV is next….No, I meant radio..I’ve seen you up close, so maybe sock puppets is your next gig.

    Thanks for your time in Minny!

    Have a great life.

  9. crj202 says: Feb 22, 2013 4:47 AM

    Good for him.

  10. 28for20 says: Feb 22, 2013 4:48 AM

    Harvard boy done good.

  11. benroethlisberger7 says: Feb 22, 2013 5:29 AM

    A laughable career.

  12. mountaingirl39 says: Feb 22, 2013 5:50 AM

    Congrats on a great career Matt, you are a great man! We’ll miss you in Baltimore. Thank you!

  13. ridingwithnohandlebars says: Feb 22, 2013 5:57 AM

    Glad to see Matt going out on top.

  14. joemontanawasthegreatest says: Feb 22, 2013 6:03 AM

    Joins Mick Tingelhoff as the best center in Vikings history.

  15. lombardiwinners2013 says: Feb 22, 2013 6:26 AM

    Thanks you Matt for being a leader in the locker room, on the field, and as a man. Great father, and respected player. We couldn’t have done it without you. Now go ride off into the sunset a champion!

  16. randallflagg52 says: Feb 22, 2013 6:47 AM

    Matt Birk is a true pro, and he had a great season after I thought he was done after watching him get tossed around by Vince Wilfork. Thanks for everything Matt and good luck to you in your future.

  17. braven4evr says: Feb 22, 2013 6:57 AM

    Thanks Matt. Vikings gave up on you too soon!

  18. rahavort says: Feb 22, 2013 7:02 AM

    Coming from a Pats fan, congrats to him. He’s put so much effort in over the years, glad to see him go out on a good note. Centers and the offensive line on any team do not get as much recognition as they should, so much focus is on the QB and receiving/running back core. Congrats Birk.

  19. humbleminded85 says: Feb 22, 2013 7:03 AM

    Hats off for a great career and I’m glad he could go out on top. His presence was huge for Flacco and that offense when it came to calling out line protections. Hopefully his in house replacement Gino Gradkowski absorbed enough of Birk’s Harvard wit and knowledge to fill in right away. We shall see.

  20. gus1779 says: Feb 22, 2013 7:06 AM

    Maybe ESPN will get him. Oh wait, he’s smart, articulate, a good teammate, has a clean record, etc. Nevermind.

  21. totallydisgusted says: Feb 22, 2013 7:15 AM

    He earned the ring and the privilege to go out on top. Saw a news story about him years ago. He may be in a wheel chair in another decade or so.

  22. bigks77 says: Feb 22, 2013 7:25 AM

    The “humble” way to go out, Ray!

  23. pettytom says: Feb 22, 2013 7:31 AM

    Congratulations and best wishes to you Birk! Truly one of the classiest pros to ever play the game.

  24. tuxbirds says: Feb 22, 2013 7:34 AM

    Matt, you are a class act. Congrats on going out a Super Bowl Champion!!!!

  25. iamthefootballjerk says: Feb 22, 2013 7:36 AM

    Tough blow to the O-line, but the guy has been awesome at grooming Gradkoswski. You may not agree with his views, but he is known to be a great family man and philanthropist. Enjoy your retirement, Matt!

  26. hansenbrothers says: Feb 22, 2013 7:43 AM

    Congrats on a great career Mr. Birk. One of the classiest guys that ever played in the NFL. I just wish you didn’t wear purple for your entire career. -Packers Nation

  27. ravensallday2012 says: Feb 22, 2013 7:51 AM

    Thanks for the time. Great player even better man

  28. reed20fence says: Feb 22, 2013 7:53 AM

    Thank you for your service to our community and your leadership of our team Sir.

    – Ravens Nation

  29. mj1818 says: Feb 22, 2013 7:53 AM

    Forever a Viking

  30. pksullivanmph says: Feb 22, 2013 7:57 AM

    Cash strapped??? They just announced a 35 million upgrade on M&T Bank Stadium. I should be so cash strapped. @footballady52 🏈

  31. tsuscrumhalf says: Feb 22, 2013 8:12 AM

    Great guy. Glad to see him get a ring. But it’s time. His play was deteriorating & he was often pushed backwards into Flacco. High quality, high character guy. His knowledge of the game will be missed…

  32. southpaw2k says: Feb 22, 2013 8:13 AM

    No suprise at all. Birk did a great job providing veteran leadership on the offensive line for the time he was here. Enjoy your retirement, Matt. You made a great Raven in the few years you were here.

  33. ejmat2 says: Feb 22, 2013 8:16 AM

    Congrats to Matt Birk. He had a great career. As a Viking fan, I hated to see him go. He’s a class act and deserved to win that championship.

  34. thehuckster404 says: Feb 22, 2013 8:18 AM

    You wonder if Flacco is thinking, ” Birk was a huge reason I didn’t get pressured as much this year. Maybe I should leave some cap space on the table for Ozzie to replace him with?”

    Just look at Brees for further analysis. Highest paid player in the league… and his team lost to the Chiefs at home.

  35. fwippel says: Feb 22, 2013 8:18 AM

    Sorry to see Birk leaving; he’s been an excellent football player, and an even better person. The Harvard graduate will do well whatever he takes on next.

    Congratulations on a great career, Matt.

  36. knucklehead93 says: Feb 22, 2013 8:26 AM

    Great guy and great player.

    Now on to Minnesota politics. Just please remember to keep church and state separate, Mr. Birk. Good luck!

  37. ravenmadnky says: Feb 22, 2013 8:27 AM

    Thanks for the memories, Matt. A true warrior who always answered the bell. I’m happy you got to go out on top.

  38. edreedisgod says: Feb 22, 2013 8:28 AM

    Good thing Ozzie drafted a center last year who had a season to learn the offense….. And the so called Ravens cap trouble continues to get better…. There is no such thing as cap trouble!

  39. reed20ravens says: Feb 22, 2013 8:31 AM

    great player, better person.

  40. godofwine330 says: Feb 22, 2013 8:44 AM

    Good for him. He went out a champion. Should have gotten one in ’98 if not for Gary Anderson. But yes, he is going out as he should. It was a great career. Not sure about a Canton career, but a great career nonetheless.

    Happy Retirement, Matt Birk.

  41. Cereal says: Feb 22, 2013 8:45 AM

    Good for you Matt Birk ! Next stop…..Canton

  42. duluthvikesfan says: Feb 22, 2013 8:48 AM

    Class act player. Well deserving for him to go out as a Super Bowl champion!

  43. swagger52 says: Feb 22, 2013 9:00 AM

    Such a smart player. Go to the Ravens so he maximized his chance for a Super Bowl.

  44. psuravens19 says: Feb 22, 2013 9:08 AM

    Good for Matt! Great player, better person. Glad he can go out on top.

  45. chaunceyb says: Feb 22, 2013 9:15 AM

    Matt, come back to town and start another Matty B’s!

  46. deceman20 says: Feb 22, 2013 9:17 AM

    Thanks for the great 4 years Matt! He got pushed around by Wilfork in last years AFCC, but he more than held his own this year.

  47. ravenator says: Feb 22, 2013 9:35 AM

    No better way to go out. Dont worry haters, his replacement has already been drafted.

  48. steammkr says: Feb 22, 2013 9:38 AM

    Congrtats Matt, GREAT GUY

  49. phillylawhopeful says: Feb 22, 2013 9:42 AM

    Some finance firm will be extremely happy with a Superbowl winning, Harvard grad to act as a sales person to bring in high profile clients.

  50. sportsfrenzy says: Feb 22, 2013 10:44 AM

    Really you think Geno gradkowski is ready for a 16 game season ? That’s laughable , congrats to birk for being a great guy and player but the ravens online is in shambles , McKinney is a free agent and birk is retiring , your left with false start oher, KO, and yanda

  51. commonsensedude says: Feb 22, 2013 10:45 AM

    Going out with a ring and by your own choice. What every player hopes for. Nicely done!

  52. baltimoresnativeson says: Feb 22, 2013 10:48 AM

    Birk was good but powerful tackles abused this guy. (Shaun Rogers, Wilfork etc.) and I’m a Ravens fan.

  53. matthewcarlson1 says: Feb 22, 2013 11:00 AM

    Matt Birk….. He went to Harvard. Fellow Vikes fans will remember those commercials. All time good guy, glad he got to go out on top.

  54. 7ransponder says: Feb 22, 2013 11:09 AM

    ejmat2 says: Feb 22, 2013 8:16 AM

    Congrats to Matt Birk. He had a great career. As a Viking fan, I hated to see him go. He’s a class act and deserved to win that championship.

    ——————–

    I hated seeing him go too, but he wasn’t going to get that well deserved ring here in the time he had left playing. I wouldn’t worry, I could see him taking a role with this organization or in a media-related role, he’s from the Twin Cities so has strong ties here and damn right we’re going to welcome him back with open arms!

  55. getyourownname says: Feb 22, 2013 11:21 AM

    In a typically (for him) public-interest motivated action, Birk announced a couple years ago he was particpating in a program where his brain (post-passing, obviously) would be donated for study in connection with assessing football-related effects.

    Don’t know how many of his colleagues are also participating, but contrast his approach with the alternative strategy of suing the NFL.

  56. purpleguy says: Feb 22, 2013 11:24 AM

    Glad to see him win a SB and retire on top while wearing purple, even if it wasn’t my team’s purple.

  57. vikefan says: Feb 22, 2013 11:28 AM

    many congrats Matt, a true pro, gentleman, and one of the good guys of the game. congrats on your super bow win, leaving as a champion, all of your pro bowls, & NFL man of the year honors, should be an easy first ballot HOF’er, thx for always giving it your all, any awards you have/will recieve are definitely earned

  58. mdagnew1 says: Feb 22, 2013 11:56 AM

    A true professional in every sense of the word. Great to call you a Raven, Matt!

  59. Ponder This says: Feb 22, 2013 12:23 PM

    My favorite player, the NFL will miss him. I predict he’ll have a regular radio gig before long and hopefully politics is in his future.

  60. scoobies05 says: Feb 22, 2013 12:25 PM

    true class act. matt announced his retirement at a ceremony dedicating a reading center at a local baltimore elementary school that he paid for. all the best and thanks for a great career champ. go ravens

  61. dukemarc says: Feb 22, 2013 12:36 PM

    As a Packer fan, I was rooting for Matt to get his ring this year.

    Now come back to Minny and re-open “Matty B’s”.

  62. itsfootballbaby says: Feb 22, 2013 3:07 PM

    Solid Dude.

  63. lackofabetter says: Feb 22, 2013 3:54 PM

    Smart going out on top, considering the Ravens arent gonna win again for another 11 years

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