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JC Tretter retires from the NFL

Tretter, who was a rock at center for the Browns for five years, calls it quits after nine seasons.

Las Vegas Raiders v Cleveland Browns Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

JC Tretter, a mainstay at center for the Cleveland Browns for five seasons, announced his retirement from the NFL on Thursday.

Tretter, who spent nine seasons overall in the NFL, announced on Twitter that he was moving on from his playing career and was ready for the “next chapter.”

A fourth-round selection by the Green Bay Packers in 2013, Tretter could not find his way with the Packers as he missed his rookie season with an injury and then only played eight games his second year.

After seeing limited time in his third season with the Packers, Tretter signed with the Browns in free agency, and from 2017 to 2021 he was the centerpiece of one of the league’s best offensive lines.

Despite dealing with knee issues that kept him practicing most of the time, Tretter started 80 out of a possible 81 games with the Browns, missing just the Week 16 game last season against the Packers after landing on the COVID-19 list.

The Browns released Tretter in March in a move to save salary cap space.

Tretter was elected president of the NFLPA in 2020 and then was re-elected this year. In his role as union president, Tretter pushed for players to skip the voluntary portion of offseason workouts due to COVID-19 and in an effort to reduce injuries. Tretter was able to convince almost all of Cleveland’s starting offense to join him in skipping offseason practices in 2021.

In a story at, Tretter believes his activity with the union is what led to no teams showing interest in him this offseason. While it seemed logical that the Browns would call Tretter after center Nick Harris suffered a season-ending injury, Tretter said his list of preferred teams were the Carolina Panthers (with quarterback Baker Mayfield), the Dallas Cowboys, and the Minnesota Vikings (with general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, who spent the past two seasons in Cleveland’s front office).

Tretter said his representatives called seven teams but none showed interest and the Vikings would not even give him the courtesy of a return phone call.

Now that he is retired, Tretter said he will give even more focus to his union work as he fulfills the final 18 months of his term.