Five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle announces retirement from NFL in epic way
For a long time, Haloti Ngata was one of the NFL’s best middle-of-the-defense forces. Ngata anchored the defensive line of the Baltimore Ravens from 2006 through 2014, a time during which not a single defensive tackle in the NFL provided more value to his team, according to Pro-Football-Reference.
Ngata was an extremely durable presence, playing in 135 of a possible 144 games over that nine-year span, recording an average of 52 tackles (six for loss), eight quarterback hits, three sacks, and three passes deflected per season. For a 3-4 defensive tackle whose primary job was eating up blockers so his teammates could make plays, those numbers were pretty remarkable.
They put him at the top of his position for a long time, and he deservingly was named to five Pro Bowls, two All-Pro First Teams, and three Second Teams. After spending the latter portion of his career playing solid football for the Lions and Eagles, Ngata announced his retirement on Monday.
And he did it from the top of something else: Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Ngata’s caption reads:
Just a man standing on top of the world with a heart full of gratitude. Thank you Lord for letting me play the game I love for 13 unforgettable years. I’m retiring on top. I might be finished playing football, but I’m holding tight to the friendships, memories and wisdom I’ve gained along the way. “Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.”
Walking away with no regrets, just peace in knowing I gave it my all and had a helluva lot of fun doing it. 💪🏽
Ngata will go down as one of the best defensive players of his era, one whose contributions were almost always an underrated aspect of some of the league’s best defenses in recent history. He had an excellent career, and capped it off with a very memorable retirement announcement.