Jake Butt retires from NFL

Denver Broncos Training Camp
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Tight end Jake Butt signed a one-year deal with the Bears in June. He lasted only one month with the team, though.

Butt wrote Thursday that he has lost his passion for the game and is retiring after four NFL seasons.

“Football gave me some of the best times of my life,” Butt said in his statement. “Ironically, it also gave me some of my toughest times, which turned out to be the most important. The adversity that I faced in my career gave me some of the biggest opportunities to grow as a man.”

Butt tore an ACL during spring drills his sophomore season at Michigan and then tore the other one in his final game at Michigan. Still, the Broncos drafted him in the fifth round in 2017. Butt missed his rookie year and then tore his ACL again in September 2018. His knee issues kept him out in 2019, and he played five games last season before going on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.

In all, Butt underwent six knee surgeries.

“This may come off as impulsive,” Butt wrote. “Some may wonder, ‘Why now?’ when I was so close. But over time I’ve lost the passion that I once had for this game. I’ve battled through this feeling for a while now, but I can no longer ignore it.

“I will always cherish and love this game. It has given me some of my best memories, highest highs, my strongest friendships and my best lessons. But it’s time for me to close this chapter and move on to a new one.”

He made 10 catches for 90 yards in eight regular-season appearances.

17 responses to “Jake Butt retires from NFL

  1. He was a great college TE. Too bad he his pro career was hurt by playing in a bowl game. Yes, NIL rights are important in a sport that can permanently injure athletes.

  2. George Kittle taken by SF with the very next pick in the 5th round. Great draft Elway.

  3. That’s a lot of knee surgeries. Hopefully this guy can finally find some peace and get back to health now. He’s still only 26. Considering his number of injuries, this seems like a very smart decision for his long term health.

  4. Jake, I hope you were able to stash most of those NFL dollars and that all those surgeries went well so that you can have a healthy and good life. Time for a little fishing. Good luck!

  5. 10 catches. 90 yards 8 appearances. Earnings over 4 years (through 2020): $2.35 million.

    Somebody please tell me what I have to do to be a complete flop as tight end but be rewarded in such a lucrative manner.

  6. I played D-1 ball…and I swear some people just have weak knees genetically.. My back is a mess and will be for the rest of my life…but so many times I should’ve torn my ACL on film I didn’t. Meanwhile I saw some of my teammates just running out of bounds untouched during practice and their knee would blow out. Just the way it goes sometimes. It’s unfair, cause Jake had all the tools to be a stud, just wasn’t in the cards. Wish him well on his journey post NFL

  7. Artificial knees are not up to football tolerance yet. Kudos for perseverance. Some have also had to retire due to things such as achilles or hamstring tendons/ligaments not anatomically compatible with demands being put on them, no matter how much conditioning. Every body is not built the same. Again, sounds like you have given it your all and should be at peace with your decision.

  8. Pain wears you down. A person can only handle so much of it for so long. There’s been some really promising young players over the years that for whatever reason seem to have bad luck when it comes to their genetics & ligament strength. I wish him good luck in whatever he chooses to do.

  9. He got the 3 years in to get the retirement plan benefits at 55. That’s about $5500 a month for life. If he lasted a few more years that would not change much with even more pain and risk.

    How do NFL players qualify for the pension?
    Once a player has been on an active roster for three years (or on injured reserve) they become fully vested, which means they qualify for the full NFL pension. NFL players who retire after 1998 receive $5,640 each month at 55

    The Smart guy gets in gets to lock in benefits and gets out with better quality of life. I think a non-starter would be wise to do the same and not play for min pay with long term health risks

  10. Not a great endorsement…one practice with DaBears and he’s like “I quit!”.

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