Former Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Ryan Switzer announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday after five years in the league. The 27-year-old noted that, due to a recent injury, he wouldn't be able to play to his standard which is what led to this decision to retire. Switzer also announced that while he'll no longer be playing football, he plans to stay around the game as a coach.
"The game of football has changed my life," Switzer wrote. "When I began my journey at 10 years old, I could only dream of how far it would take me. I have dedicated the last 17 years to maximizing the gifts that God granted me. I promised myself at the beginning of my journey that I would not shy away from the dedication and commitment that it would take to achieve my goals.
"From my days at UNC, to my five years in the NFL, I never deviated from that promise. Unfortunately, in light of a recent injury, I feel I'm no longer able to meet the physical demands of the game. That said, I have decided to retire from the NFL. I want to thank my teammates and coaches from every level and each organization that provided me an opportunity to play. I want to thank my parents for their unwavering support, and my wonderful wife, who has been my rock since the day we met.
"Although my playing days are over, I'm looking forward to using the knowledge and experience I've accumulated to help the next generation of players through coaching. I promise to bring the same relentless mindset that enabled me to live my dream of playing NFL football to this next chapter of my life!"
After a decorated collegiate career at UNC as a punt returner, Switzer was selected by the Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. During his rookie season, he fielded 29 punts for Dallas for 256 yards and a touchdown. He also had 600 kickoff return yards.
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Following that rookie season, he was traded to the Raiders in April of 2018. Just a few months later, however, he was again dealt to the Pittsburgh Steelers where he'd spend the next two years of his career. That 2018 campaign proved to be the best all-around season of his career. He posted similar numbers in the punt and kickoff return game but also factored into the passing game. That year, he caught 36 of his 44 targets for 253 yards and a touchdown.
The final years of Switzer's career were marred by injuries. He missed a chunk of the 2019 season with a back injury and would be waived by the Steelers in September of 2020. He joined the Browns practice squad in October of 2020 but wasn't much of a factor during his two-year stint in Cleveland. He was placed on injured reserve last August with a foot injury and missed the entire 2021 season.
Switzer did have a workout with the Carolina Panthers back in April, but it did not lead to him signing with the team.