Former Bills WR Abruptly Retires Months After Making NFL Comeback

Chris Hogan

Getty Chris Hogan celebrates after a catch against the New England Patriots.

Chris Hogan is calling it quits — again.

The former Buffalo Bills wide receiver announced earlier this year that he was leaving the NFL to try his hand at a different sport, but ultimately returned and battled to win a final roster spot with the New Orleans Saints. Though the 10-year veteran had a relatively productive season, he decided he was ready to retire.

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Hogan Returned to NFL After Stint in New Sport

Hogan appeared to be done with the NFL back in March when he announced that he was attempting a jump to the Premier Lacrosse League. Hogan was a star lacrosse player at Penn State, where he served as captain and led the team with 29 goals in his senior season. He took to social media to announce the move, saying he was excited to get back to his roots.

“As many of you know, my roots are in lacrosse, and I’m excited to fight for a roster spot with the best in the world!” Hogan wrote on Twitter.

Hogan spoke often of his love for lacrosse, telling Boston.com that he kept a lacrosse stick in his NFL locker. Hogan also referred to himself as a Penn State lacrosse player in his “Monday Night Football” introduction.

“I always had a vision of going back to lacrosse in some way, shape, or form,” Hogan said. “I had talked to the PLL about potentially making this a reality. It wasn’t something that just happened overnight. I’ve been talking about it for a little while, and I think it just made sense.”

Hogan’s stint in the PLL didn’t last long, and in July he signed with the Saints. After initially being released at the end of the preseason, Hogan was brought back onto the roster to start the season.


Hogan Ends 10-Year Career

The 33-year-old was lower on the depth chart for the Saints, but still able to contribute this season, catching four passes for 41 yards and a touchdown through five games. As ESPN’s Mike Triplett noted, Hogan’s spot on the team may have been in jeopardy as the wide receiving corps was getting healthier and the Saints were adding other pass-catchers.

“It’s unclear exactly why Hogan decided to retire. He was not dealing with any known injuries,” Triplett wrote. “But the Saints have added depth to their receiving corps in recent weeks. They signed veteran Kenny Stills last month and designated veteran Tre’Quan Smith to return from injured reserve this week. All-Pro receiver Michael Thomas could also return soon, though he has not yet begun practicing after having ankle surgery in June.”

Hogan had not yet spoken about his decision to retire, though Triplett noted that it was likely not connected to health as Hogan had been relatively injury-free this season.

Hogan joined the Bills in 2012 after coming into the NFL as an undrafted free agent. He was productive across four seasons in Buffalo, racking up 959 yards and six touchdowns. Hogan’s best year was in 2014, catching 41 passes for 426 yards and four touchdowns. He found even more success after leaving Buffalo, joining the Patriots and winning two Super Bowls.

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