Mitchell Schwartz’s time protecting quarterbacks and clearing space for teammates is over.
The veteran tackle announced he is retiring on Thursday.
“I’m officially retiring from the NFL,” Schwartz said via Twitter. “It’s been almost two years since I injured my back. I had surgery last February and have been doing rehab ever since. I’m currently feeling as good as I have since then, but it’s clear my body won’t ever be the same. The nerve pain down my legs is no longer a daily occurrence, but it might never fully go away.
“I’ve enjoyed so much about my time in the NFL and am walking away feeling very fulfilled. Winning the Super Bowl was the pinnacle of my career. My 7,894 consecutive snaps streak and four All-Pro nominations are my proudest individual accomplishments, far exceeding my own expectations.”
A second-round pick of the Browns in 2012, Schwartz hit his high-water mark with the Kansas City Chiefs, earning All-Pro honors in each of his first four seasons with the team (including a first-team selection in 2018) before winning Super Bowl LIV. With Schwartz protecting his right side, Patrick Mahomes blossomed into the superstar quarterback we know him to be today, and it’s fair to wonder whether the signal-caller would have been able to author Kansas City’s thrilling comeback in Super Bowl LIV without Schwartz keeping San Francisco’s pass rushers at bay.
That game would be one of Schwartz’s last. He appeared in just six contests in the following season before undergoing back surgery, and Kansas City released him in March of 2021.
Schwartz entered the NFL as a day-two selection out of California and proved to be a wise pick, earning Pro Football Focus All-Rookie honors in his first season. He continued to improve as time passed, overcoming early challenges and serving as a rock-solid pass protector who started every single game in his career from 2012 to 2019.
Unfortunately for Schwartz, the solid, young tackle didn’t quite fit into Cleveland’s long-term plans, leading to his departure for Kansas City. It proved to be the best possible outcome for the tackle, who wasn’t the only son in his family to play in the NFL: His brother, Geoff, played guard for four different teams from 2008-2015 before retiring in early 2017.
Schwartz won’t be without things to do now that his football career is finished. He and his wife, Brooke, recently moved into a home complete with a custom-built (and lavish) kitchen suited for Schwartz’s culinary endeavors.
“I’ve met so many great people and forged relationships that will last a lifetime. Football was a big part of my life and always will be,” Schwartz said. “I love the game and have a passion for sharing my knowledge. But I never defined myself as only a football player. I have other interests that I’ll have more time to explore: food/cooking and my Mitch in the Kitch series, travel, golf, horology. But must importantly I’ll have more time with my wife, Brooke, and our two little dogs.”