CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- One of the two remaining Carolina Panthers from the team's Super Bowl season will retire.
Left tackle Jordan Gross, 33, who started more games (167) than any other Panther, will formally announce his retirement at a press conference Wednesday at 1 p.m. Gross was a free agent, and had said at the end of the season that he did not want to play for any other team. "If I'm playing," he said in January, "I'll play here."
Gross talked to panthers.com abourt his decision:
"I've played a lot of football here, and I've seen a lot of guys come and a lot of guys go," Gross said. "Sometimes it ends well for guys, and sometimes it is not the ending they were looking for.
"I knew that this was the time for me to step away - happy, healthy and thinking fondly about my experience."
Gross played in three Pro Bowls, most recently in January. His retirement after 11 seasons leaves the Panthers with a hole on their offensive line. It also leaves them without one of their locker room leaders. The only remaining Panther on the roster from the 2003 Super bowl season is wide receiver Steve Smith.
Panthers players reacted to the news:
One of the best to ever play in a panther jersey. I wish he would stay but you gotta do what u gotta… http://t.co/aYDOKDhpQc— charles johnson (@randywattson) February 25, 2014
Panthers TE Greg Olsen on Jordan Gross retiring: “He’s such a great player and I’m really happy for him. ...— Steve Reed (@SteveReedAP) February 25, 2014
When I talked to him, I know he feels good not only about his body of work and his career, but also the impact he had on this...— Steve Reed (@SteveReedAP) February 25, 2014
...organization. He was always a stand-up guy. He has the respect of all of his teammates."— Steve Reed (@SteveReedAP) February 25, 2014