Recently in the NFL, early retirement has become a trend, and former Stanford and Buffalo Bills linebacker A.J. Tarpley has continued it. On Wednesday, Tarpley announced his retirement after just one year. Tarpley has decided to retire because of medical concerns after suffering his third and fourth career concussions this year in order to "preserve [his] future health." Tarpley wrote on instagram, "This decision is the hardest I've made yet but after much research and contemplation I believe it's what is best for me going forward."
The only thing comforting about not knowing this play would be the last of my career, is knowing that I never took a second for granted. After months of introspection, I am retiring from football. I suffered the 3rd and 4th concussions of my career this past season and I am walking away from the game I love to preserve my future health. This decision is the hardest I've made yet but after much research and contemplation I believe it's what is best for me going forward. I'd like to extend my gratitude to everyone that helped me along the way. Thank you to my coaches at Wayzata and Stanford, and to lifelong friends that I was blessed to call teammates. You all molded me into the man I am today. To my family, I'll never be able to repay your unwavering support and love, I just hope that I can continue to show how gracious I am and make you proud. I also want to thank the Buffalo Bills organization, coaches, and teammates for helping me fulfill my lifelong dream in the NFL. Last but not least, I'm proud to be a part of #BillsMafia and playing in front of the best fans in the league is something I won't forget. Thank you God for all that you have blessed me . I'm excited for my future.
Although short, Tarpley had a successful career. He made the Bills roster as an undrafted rookie and played fourteen games while starting two. While on the field, Tarpley's career was highlighted by a game winning interception versus the Jets in his final game that ended the Jets' playoff chances. Congratulations to Stanford Man A.J. Tarpley on his professionally football career and best of luck to him in his life after football.