Massive news just landed in the Midwest, and the Indianapolis Colts will now have to figure some things out because of it. Anthony Castonzo, a stalwart on the team's offensive line who helped keep Andrew Luck upright and subsequently Philip Rivers in 2020, has decided to retire from the NFL -- he and the team announced on Tuesday. The news comes only two days after the club was eliminated from playoff contention by the Buffalo Bills on NFL Super Wild-Card Weekend, a contest in which Castonzo himself could not participate in. The 32-year-old left tackle was relegated to injured reserve to end the season, after suffering a torn Achilles in early December.
Castonzo released a statement after making the final decision on his NFL career.
"As a kid, it was my dream to play in the NFL," Castonzo said. "I played my first full season of tackle football in second grade. Now I have played my last. As I sit here now, after a 10 year NFL career, I am extremely proud of all the hard work and sacrifice that allowed me to evolve that dream into a goal, and ultimately into a reality unlike anything I could have even imagined."
Castonzo is a former 22nd-overall pick of the Colts in 2011 after earning First-Team All-ACC honors twice with Boston College, and landed All-Pro honors for his blindside work. He started in 144 games over the course of his decade-long career, being mostly durable throughout his time in Indianapolis, including logging 16 starts in 2019 before adding 12 final starts before missing the final four contests in 2020 due to the aforementioned injury. His retirement is one that supersedes financial gain, but it must be noted the Colts will land $16 million in cap savings by Castonzo's decision, although they'd likely rather have him around as they work to determine who their quarterback will be in 2021.
He signed a four-year, $43.81 million contract in 2015 and his third with deal with the Colts in 2020 -- a two-year extension that secured him through the 2021 season. Going into free agency, the team will now look to use the cap savings to potentially locate a replacement, which won't be easy (you can check out our look at how the Colts could potentially replace Castonzo, as well as three other key moves for 2021, here).