Birk says he’s weighing retirement against return to Ravens


Several weeks ago, Charley Casserly of CBS reported that Ravens center Matt Birk will retire after the 2011 season ends.

It was news to Birk at the time.

And it’s still news to Birk.  He told PFT Live earlier today that he will choose between retirement and returning to the Ravens for a fourth year in Baltimore, and a 15th year in the NFL.

His contract is up in Baltimore, so they’ll have to want him back.  But they should want him back.  He has started every game in his three seasons with the team.

Birk said he’ll make the decision after his body “heals up,” although he added that none of the bumps and bruises will require surgery.

For a team that seems to be determined to finish the job after coming tantalizingly close to a Super Bowl berth, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Birk return.

29 responses to “Birk says he’s weighing retirement against return to Ravens

  1. A Harvard grad, he’s probably the smartest center in the league and plays the position that is 2nd only to the QB where intelligence is prized.
    That should get him another year or two if he wants to continue to take the beatings natural to playing center in the NFL.
    He’s also one of the classiest guys in the league by the way.

  2. probably still the saddest result of the chilldog regime was losing birk. this guy may not have any rings when he retires but will still go down as one of the greatest to play his position of all time in my opinion.

  3. I love you Birk but it’s time to hang em up. We need a younger more powerful center that can hold their own against guys like…Vince Wilfork!!

  4. It would be a shame to lose such a class guy in the locker room and on the field but I can’t blame him. Best of luck to him. Hopefully the Ravens can draft well and use Gurode as a stop- gap measure.

  5. He’s unfortunately one of the most porous pieces on that O-line…’s been a good run Matt. Go hang out with your kids for a year or two then get a TV gig or something.

  6. I don’t watch too much college football, so I don’t know what Center prospects are out there this year or next. But even if Birk returns next season, finding a new C should be near the top of the Ravens draft list. Hopefully, we can duplicate the Steelers success, who found a gem in Pouncey.

  7. Retire. The Ravens are officially a bottom of the barrel team. They’ll be lucky to go 5-11 next year. Lolz

  8. vikingssoxfrustration says: Jan 27, 2012 1:36 PM

    I’m still pissed the Vikes let him leave…Thanks Chilly!


    Amen. Hometown kid didn’t want to play for his team because the coach was such an idiot. I’m glad the Ravens have been able to benefit from his smarts and toughness the past few years, but he’s still missed on the Vikings line.

  9. Birk alongside Hutchinson and McKinnie in his prime were an unstoppable line. I miss those days. We have a capable replacement in Sullivan despite his size, but he will never be Birk. Great player and a great man off the field.

  10. Too bad the Vikings just re-upped Sullivan. They could use Birk, who’s still better than his replacment. Plus, Birk still lives there.

  11. Big Vince really showed Birk his age.

    Better to hang them up one year too early than one year too late.

  12. He was an excellent player in his day, but Wilfork made him look like a revolving door last weekend. Probably time to hang it up.

  13. Matt— Go into acting– Ron Pearlman (Clay) could use you as his long lost son in Sons of Anarchy…

    Your resembalnce is striking!

  14. Birk is a great guy, but he’s done. Time and knee problems have caught up with him. He can’t handle the big AFC nose tackles in passing situations, and he doesn’t get enough push off the line for the running game. Time to bring in Gurode and draft someone to take over down the road.

  15. Big Vince really showed Birk his age.

    Better to hang them up one year too early than one year too late.


    Come on, Vince Wilfork makes all centers look bad!

  16. I don’t understand the thumbs down on comments saying he was manhandled in the AFC Championship Game. Birk really struggled against Wilfork and much more so than other centers.

  17. @7thlombardiontheway

    “officially a bottom of the barrell team.”

    Just like the Steelers were going to start a new league? If I was a jerk, I would say the Steelers should have started a league of their own this past year…maybe they would have won a game in the playoffs or won their division. But I am not. Instead I will just tell you that your Mom is leaving in 10 minutes. You need to clean your room and get your toys out of the living room before Dad gets home.

  18. Unfortunately, like most people are saying, that game against NE and all 700 pounds of Vince Wilfork really showed Birk’s true age. This hurts me to say, but as a Ravens fan, he really needs to go. Luckily, we have an awesome player in Gurode to mentor a C taken this year (hopefully…). Birk is a class act, and was an awesome player in his time, but like they say, next man up.

    Hopefully, Birk being a Harvard grad and obviosuly a smart man, will convince Cameron to retire too! (A man can dream, right?)

  19. As a Steelers fan, I hope he goes. The guy is a good center.

    He had trouble against Wilfork, but most centers do. And Baltimore wasn’t able to block Wilfork with Birk and Yanda, so it wasn’t just Birk.

    At the height of his career, he was definitely one of the top centers in the game.

    What he lost in strength and agility over the seasons, though, he made up for in experience and intelligence.

    Unfortunately for us Steelers fans, Baltimore typically drafts well along the o-line, so even if he does go, they’ll find someone capable.

  20. “pastabelly says:
    Jan 27, 2012 3:24 PM
    I don’t understand the thumbs down on comments saying he was manhandled in the AFC Championship Game. Birk really struggled against Wilfork and much more so than other centers.”


    That’s because of the many children and people who don’t have any football knowledge posting here.

    Truthful statements even ones that are not tempered with gloating over a particular team or other often get more thumbs down than up.

    The other day when Ochocinco’s father passed I noted at one point that at least one person had gone through and thumbs downed every post saying condolences to Chad. Thumbs down for wishing condolences to someone’s Dad passing, how shameful is that ?

  21. As a Steelers fan, I hope he retires with our NT depth looking thin with Casey Hampton’s knee injury and Chris Hoke retiring. Would much rather see the young promising Steve Mclendon going up against Gurode than Birk.

    All in all, great career and good guy. Made plenty of money and will make plenty more with that Harvard degree.

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