Robert Mathis today officially announced his retirement from the National Football League after 14 tremendous seasons with the Indianapolis Colts.
Mathis said today that he made the decision midway through the season, a few weeks before the Packers game. He said that he wants to walk away from the game, not limp away, and that the rest of his body will go to his kids. He said that it’s time to listen to his body. He got emotional at a press conference today, thanking a number of people, from Jim Irsay to general managers to coaches to some players, and he said that he’ll be around Indy still. "Indy, this is my home,” he said. “I'm a Colt, I'm a blue-blood. I'm a brick-layer at Lucas Oil Stadium." He said that Indy and the Colts aren’t getting rid of him, as he’ll be around and he’s here for whatever the Colts need of him.
He will play in one final game this Sunday, when the Colts take the field at Lucas Oil Stadium to face the Jaguars. It will provide a bit more meaning in an otherwise meaningless game, as the Colts will want to send one of their leaders out with a win. “I came in as a winner, I want to go out as a winner,” Mathis said. Mathis has had a tremendous career with the Colts, playing in 191 games. When he plays this Sunday, he’ll tie Justin Snow for the seventh-most games with the Colts in franchise history (with 192). Mathis is the Colts’ all-time leader in sacks with 122, and he’s the NFL’s all-time leader in strip-sacks with 46 (he’s recorded 51 forced fumbles total). He’s also racked up 524 tackles, 15 passes defensed, and an interception. He’s recorded five double-digit sack seasons (and eight with at least 9.5 sacks), made six Pro Bowls, and was a first-team All-Pro in 2013 when he led the league in sacks with 19.5 (the Colts’ single-season record).
He will be remembered as one of the all-time greats in Colts history, and he’ll certainly get his name in the Ring of Honor one day. He’s the team’s leader in career sacks and single-season sacks, while he’s also the NFL’s career leader in forced fumbles. He been a team leader and captain, and he was a great pass rusher in his day. It’s been a heck of a career, and he was able to play all 14 seasons with the Colts.