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Stokley retires with an NFL record, sort of

Stokley Getty Images

When receiver Brandon Stokley joined the Ravens when the defending champs realized they needed more help at the position, he returned to the place where he won first Super Bowl ring back in 2000.  He’s now finishing his career as a member of the Ravens.

The 15-year veteran will retire, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post.

“You know, there’s nobody who has played as long as me who has caught as few balls as me,” Stokley says with a laugh, but the statement is accurate.  Per Klis, of the 18 men who have played receiver for at least 15 years in the NFL, Stokley has fewer catches than any of them.

At 397 receptions, Stokley is 160 catches behind Troy Brown.  The fact that Stokley continued to find work without huge numbers underscores the other qualities he brings to the table — including an 83.1-percent first-down conversion rate on his 160 career third-down catches.

“I think Brandon is the best teammate I’ve ever had,” Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning told Klis.  “He’s a guy you want on your team in your corner.  Fifteen years as a slot receiver in the NFL, going across the middle, taking hits, it’s almost unheard of.”

Stokley’s career seemed to be over after the 2011 season, but his offseason pitch-and-catch sessions with Manning resulted in Stokley joining Peyton in Denver.  It then appeared to be over for Stokley after the Broncos signed Wes Welker to play the slot, until the Ravens came calling.

It was a 13th known concussion that placed Stokley on IR and resulted in his decision to call it quits.  He could still win a third Super Bowl ring, if the Ravens get to the playoffs and climb the mountain for the second straight year — possibly beating Manning once again along the way.

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29 Responses to “Stokley retires with an NFL record, sort of”
  1. Bmorelikeray52 says: Dec 26, 2013 6:50 PM

    Best of luck to him. The guy had one hell of a career and what better way to end your long journey than retiring with the team you started your career with.

  2. fdugrad says: Dec 26, 2013 6:51 PM

    OY…Thirteen!

  3. britishraven says: Dec 26, 2013 6:55 PM

    The guy is a legend!

  4. logicalvoicesays says: Dec 26, 2013 7:02 PM

    I’m not surprised Ravens fans call this guy a legend. Mediocre players are embraced in Baltimore. What an embarrasment to Maryland are the Ravens. #HTTR

  5. bcgreg says: Dec 26, 2013 7:17 PM

    15 years in the NFL is a testament to his toughness, intelligence, and ability.

    And in fairness to Troy Brown, he really didn’t play WR consistently until his 5th or 6th year.

  6. wasteindustries says: Dec 26, 2013 7:19 PM

    Did he get a ring with the Giants for his cameo appearance in 2011?

  7. jbl429 says: Dec 26, 2013 7:19 PM

    I think he already has 3 SBs: Baltimore in 2000, Indy in 2006, Giants in 2011.

  8. The Pittsburgh Steelers says: Dec 26, 2013 7:24 PM

    Hey, a record is a record.

  9. RavenzGunnerz says: Dec 26, 2013 7:24 PM

    Just in time for another sb run. Let’s do it for Stokely ravens! !!

  10. sactogary says: Dec 26, 2013 7:29 PM

    I’ll always remember him for opening day, 2009 – Broncos against Bengals. He plucked a deflected pass out of the air and took it the distance for an 87-yard touchdown with about twenty seconds left, to put Denver ahead. The defender gave up the chase, so he just jogged around in front of the goal line to burn time off the clock.

  11. sc711 says: Dec 26, 2013 7:47 PM

    Congrats on your retirement !

    It was a joy and a priveledge watching you, absolutely one of the most clutch receivers I have ever seen.

  12. whoisrdymlz says: Dec 26, 2013 7:48 PM

    Man, I wouldn’t turn down that money either but 13 concussions is way too many.

  13. kd75 says: Dec 26, 2013 7:59 PM

    He holds the NFL record for making a defender’s pants fall down in a Super Bowl…

  14. bigbaldpapahawk says: Dec 26, 2013 8:21 PM

    Stokely did it with class and professionalism. He knew his role. He played it exceptionally. Never complained and was more than consistent when called upon.

    Very underrated and under utilized throughout his career.

  15. beeroncos says: Dec 26, 2013 8:57 PM

    Yes, that deflected pass against Cincinnati. That was pretty awesome. And a great career! Don’t need gaudy stats to be remembered as a clutch guy.

  16. dbfan4ever says: Dec 26, 2013 8:59 PM

    Thirteen concussions?! Anyone know what the record is for the amount of concussions one player has suffered?

  17. Chris Henry's Wild Ride says: Dec 26, 2013 8:59 PM

    He also has a ridiculous highlight reel

  18. caseyanthonymunoz says: Dec 26, 2013 9:13 PM

    Manning is gonna get somebody killed.

  19. mcmccii says: Dec 26, 2013 9:37 PM

    Played with him in HS. Talented guy and a hard worker.

  20. bruno1433 says: Dec 26, 2013 9:40 PM

    No pretty sur the redskins are the embarrassment of maryland these day and the past decade 3 and son to be 11 and not even gonna get to use that top 3 pick haha

  21. gmsalpha says: Dec 26, 2013 9:47 PM

    Anyone who can play in the NFL for 15 years should be proud. And to be the guy Peyton Manning calls the greatest teammate he’s ever had? That’s quite an honor, coming from someone of such high caliber.

    I do have to wince at the 13 “known” concussions, but at least the guy retired on his terms.

  22. keltictim says: Dec 26, 2013 9:49 PM

    Hell of a player and from all accounts a great teammate. 13 sounds awfully low for the way he played the game. I hope he’s ok in the future.

  23. JSpicoli says: Dec 26, 2013 9:52 PM

    Like most NFL records, the whole a lot of —-who cares?

    This doesn’t mean he was worse than the rest of the 15 year receivers, just as the guy with most catches is not “The best”. Subjective team game with multiple rule changes over the eras, this NFL.

  24. jpalughi823 says: Dec 26, 2013 9:55 PM

    awesome dude. always enjoyed watching him play. sadly, i see him having to eat through a straw down the road.

  25. dallashomer says: Dec 26, 2013 10:59 PM

    I wonder if he’s ever had a piece written about him in which he wasn’t compared to Wes Welker.

  26. st1llerz1 says: Dec 26, 2013 11:33 PM

    Isn’t this the “warrior” crow fans were spewing about when he was signed as the guy that was going to make the rest of the NFL forget that Anquan Boldin ever played in luckimore!?!?!

    The “wizard of busts” strikes again.

    At least Steelers fans own up to a need to reload and suffer through a couple of down years.

    As the Nest Burn…

    GO STEELERS!

  27. eatitfanboy says: Dec 26, 2013 11:40 PM

    Keep your mouth shut, work hard, be reliable and a good teammate, and you can play for 15 years with modest talent.

    Which is just as long as Terrell Owens played and a year longer than Randy Moss.

    All three of those guys were looking for work this past off season, and only Stokely got hired.

    And if all three went looking for work next season, take a guess which on would be hired?

  28. FlashPatterson says: Dec 27, 2013 1:52 AM

    Why are people talking like the Ravens actually have a chance?

  29. malibudave66 says: Dec 27, 2013 2:08 AM

    Great Job Brandon!!! He has NFL Coach written all over him someday! It’s not the guys that are flashy that scare me it’s guys like him!!! They kill ya and you don’t even know they where there!! He’s in it for the long haul!! Congrats again Sir!

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