WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Carolina Panther Luke Kuechly shocked the football world by retiring at the age of 28 on Tuesday.
Kuechly joined the likes of Andrew Luck and Rob Gronkowski as NFL stars under 30 to retire in the last ten months.
Hoggard graduate Connor Barth kicked nine seasons in the NFL and saw his fair share of players that suffered head injuries.
“You can just see the trauma when you guys get hit in the head like that,” said Barth. “They have no idea where they are.”
Barth believes that the larger contracts that Kuechly and other stars have signed have given them the financial freedom to walk away from the game they love.
“Now with these guys signing these big contracts, you don't have to play as long,” said Barth. “You look at a Calvin Johnson or Andrew Luck where are you getting paid these big-time deals you can shorten your career and move on to other things and have that money in the bank and things like that.”
In the end, Barth believes Kuechly made the right choice.
“It’s kind of what you want in the NFL to walk away on your terms. It’s not easy but I think he’s making the right decision,” said Barth.