First reported by Michael Silver of Bally’s Sports on Thursday morning, June 2, the seven-time Pro Bowler and lineman leader for 13 seasons on three different teams has retired. On Friday morning, June 3, both the 49ers and Mack himself confirmed that he is retiring.
Mack’s decision ends a run that began with the Cleveland Browns as the 21st overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. While three offensive linemen were taken ahead of him, Mack was the first center taken in that class.
Now, Mack has made one last down block and line call in a career that also saw stops with the Atlanta Falcons and the ‘Niners. However, he didn’t leave the league without sharing some final words online.
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Mack Pens Stirring Letter
The 36-year-old Mack took to his personal Twitter account to release his own retirement statement on Friday morning. Mack ends his career before having played his 205th career NFL game.
“After 13 years and 204 games for three teams, I have decided to hang up my cleats. I am so grateful to the game of football and everything it has given me. From the very start it helped shape who I am and taught me life lessons. I started to play football because it was fun and it never changed,” Mack first wrote.
From there, Mack didn’t name off names — but rather fan bases he got to know during his NFL journey.
“Thank you to the fans. You have been with me on an incredible journey across the country. Thank you to Cleveland, Atlanta and San Francisco; I loved living in these cities and will miss their dedicated fan bases,” Mack said.
Mack Also Thanked the Ones ‘Who Tolerated my Stubbornness’
Mack played for seven head coaches — four while with the Browns, two with the Falcons and one in his lone season as a 49er.
Without naming names, he thanked those men…adding they tolerated a certain attitude he brought to the field and locker room.
“Thank you to all the coaches, who tolerated my stubbornness and taught me as much as they could,” Mack said. “I always try to hold up my end of the bargain and never let anyone doubt my effort.”
Then came the next group Mack thanked, plus the one he says operates “in near anonymity.”
“Thank you to my teammates and opponents. We are forever bound by our competition at the highest level and by our full commitment to our craft. I think I’ll miss the O-line rooms the most; always a special collection of men willing to put in the work together, in near anonymity, for the good of the team,” Mack wrote.
His final round of thanks were directed to the ones closest to him.
“Thank you to friends and family. The demands of pro football can make a career appear selfish, yet, you supported me in my passion and rode with me for the ups and downs. I couldn’t have done it without you,” Mack said. “This is really more of a ‘thank you’ than ‘goodbye.’ From draft night, to the final whistle, I will carry these special memories, and each of these treasured relationships with me into my next chapter. All the best, Alex.”
Mack ends his career having started in all 17 games with the 49ers. Per Pro Football Reference, Mack was also an NFL ironman type: Having produced 11 seasons of starting in every regular season game.
Analysts & Others Praise Mack
Following the release of his retirement letter, Mack was showered with internet praise from analysts and others.
One was Draft Kings’ Mike Golic, himself a past lineman:
Stacey Dales of the NFL Network called Mack “one of the finest to do it.”
The Reese’s Senior Bowl, the final college football game the Golden Bear Mack played in, sent their congrats:
Finally, the general manager responsible for helping get Mack to the Falcons Scott Pioli offered this suggestion to the NFL: Put Mack into the Hall of Fame.