NFL: Super Bowl LIV-San Francisco 49ers vs Kansas City Chiefs

One of the most unique players in NFL history has decided to step away from the game. Former Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif announced his retirement on Thursday.  

Duvernay-Tardif spent nine seasons in the NFL, including seven with the Chiefs. 

"It's now been nine years since I had the chance to play in the NFL and I sometimes still can't believe the opportunity I had to experience this adventure," Duvernay-Tardif wrote on Instagram. "Being a professional athlete is a privilege as well as such an enriching human and personal experience. Victories, defeats and injuries were opportunities to learn how to win and lose as a team while managing big emotions."

Duvernay-Tardif made headlines around the NFL early in his career because he decided he was going to earn his medical degree WHILE he was also playing for Kansas City. The offensive lineman was selected by the Chiefs in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft and he considers himself lucky for landing in Kansas City with Andy Reid, because he doesn't think there are very many other coaches out there who would have supported his decision to go for his medical degree while also playing in the NFL. 

"In 2014, I had the honor of being drafted by Coach Reid," Duvernay-Tardif wrote on IG. "Probably one of the only NFL coaches to have seen positively my desire to complete my medicine at McGill and wanted to support me throughout my seven years with the organization."

Duvernay-Tardiff eventually earned his medical degree after his fifth season in Kansas City. 

On the field, Duvernay-Tardif spent his rookie season on the bench before earning a starting guard spot in 2015. After winning the job, he didnt' let it go: Duvernay-Tardif was a mainstay at right guard for nearly five years, including Kansas City's Super Bowl winning season in 2019, a year where he started 14 games. 

After winning the Super Bowl, Duvernay-Tardif almost walked away from football during the pandemic. In 2020, he became the first player to opt out of the season due to COVID. However, it should be noted that he didn't opt out because he was afraid of getting sick, he opted out so that he thought he was better served using his time to work at a medical facility in Montreal. 

Following the 2020 season, Duvernay-Tardif eventually returned to the NFL for two more years, but this time, he wasn't with the Chiefs. In 2021, he landed in New York with the Jets, where he would start 13 games over two seasons with the team.  

Duvernay-Tardif will now end his career with two things that most players would love to have: A Super Bowl ring and a medical degree.