The Seattle Seahawks are in the market for a new starting guard after Mike Iupati abruptly revealed he is retiring. Iupati announced the news in an interview with The Spokesman-Review’s Peter Harriman and admitted he simply told his agent he was through with football at the end of last season.
The veteran Seahawks guard cited the physical toll that playing in the NFL took on his body including a chronic neck condition as the major reason for his retirement. Iupati spoke highly of his two seasons with the Seahawks and admitted he was “going to miss” playing football.
“My body was telling me it was time to close the door,” Iupati told The Spokesman-Review. “I fell in love with Seattle. The organization was first class. They were so good to me. …I know I’m going to miss it. But I’m kind of excited. I’ve got four boys (ages 8, 6, 3 and newborn) and I’m taking care of them every day.”
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Iupati Would Have Been a Free Agent This Offseason
Iupati was slated to hit free agency after playing in Seattle on a one-year, $2.5 million contract last season. The four-time Pro Bowl guard spent his entire career in the NFC West with his first five seasons with the Niners before joining the Cardinals for four years. Iupati started 15 games for the Seahawks in 2019 and 10 games last season.
It is interesting timing for Iupati’s announcement given Russell Wilson publicly put pressure on the Seahawks to improve the team’s offensive line earlier this offseason. Sports Illustrated’s Corbin Smith reported that the Seahawks talked Iupati into playing in 2020.
“Not surprised about the Iupati news at all,” Smith tweeted. “I had heard after the 2019 season that he was contemplating retirement. Seattle was able to talk him into playing one more season. Best of luck to him – one heck of a career that was played exclusively in the NFC West.”
Wilson on Seahawks’ Protection Issues: ‘I Think That’s a Big Thing That We Got to Fix’
During a February interview on The Dan Patrick Show, Wilson was surprisingly candid about his frustration with the current Seahawks roster. Wilson cited the team’s protection issues as one of the things he wants addressed this offseason.
“Sometimes, you hold onto it a little bit just because you’re looking for that play and you find those guys,” Wilson explained. “But also, so many times those turn into touchdowns, too. You never want to be sacked that many times. 400 times basically is way too many, 400 too many. So, I think that’s a big thing that we got to fix, that’s got to be fixed and has to be, at the end of the day. Because my goal is to play another 10 to 15 more years. So, when you think about that, longevity and legacy and all that.”
During a separate media session, Wilson admitted he is “frustrated with getting hit too much.” Wilson was asked if there was tension between himself and the Seahawks.
“I’m frustrated with getting hit too much. I’m frustrated with that,” Wilson noted, per Q13 Fox Seattle. “At the end of the day you want to win … I think that’s part of the process.”