Mitchell Schwartz was an ironman at right tackle for the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs.
But the 9-year-veteran’s body simply won’t allow him to continue his NFL career.
Schwartz announced his retirement today, citing continuing back issues and related leg pain as the reason.
— Pro Football Rumors (@pfrumors) July 14, 2022
In a lengthy farewell posting, he also noted the mental toll of playing in the NFL.
He called the past year, all of which was spent recovering from his back injury, the happiest of his life.
Combining a lack of stress about maintaining game form and time with his wife made it so.
Career update: pic.twitter.com/4q3l6fZbHM
— Mitchell Schwartz (@MitchSchwartz71) July 14, 2022
Schwartz thanked a long list of people from the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City franchises.
Among the people he did not thank was the Browns owner, Jimmy Haslam, or his 2016 GM, Sashi Brown.
Brown unceremoniously let Schwartz go in free agency in Paul DePodesta’s first year in Cleveland.
All He Did Was Line Up And Play
Cleveland drafted Schwartz early in the 2nd round (37 overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft.
In what has to be an anomaly, Schwartz became the second University of California-Berkely lineman on the team.
Alex Mack, a first-round pick in the 2009 Draft played with Schwartz through the 2015 season.
Schwartz was among 6 rookies to start every game of the 2012 season.
Starting fast and aggressive is important to Mitchell Schwartz
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) October 17, 2014
But none of them would come close to matching his incredible consecutive snaps streak over their first years.
It was a streak that continued for most of his time in Kansas City, extending to a record 7,894.
The first missed snaps of his career came in a November game of the 2019 season after a knee injury.
He injured his back in practice before Week 6 of the 2020 season, but still started that game.
It would be his final NFL start as surgery and rehab were not enough to get even the iron man back on the field.
Schwartz Thanks Browns Teammates
Among the first people mentioned in Schwartz’ farewell post was former Browns GM Tom Heckert for drafting him.
His first offensive line coach, George Warhop, was credited with developing Schwartz’s signature move.
Schwartz thanked Warhop…
“for believing in me and developing me through the early bumps and struggles. And for teaching me the vertical set (and the 3-step short set) that became my trademark pass set and allowed me to thrive.”
Following some effusive praise for the Kansas City organization, Schwartz spoke about his former teammates.
— Jody (@BuckeyesGirl33) March 9, 2016
Saying he was lucky to have the best teammates throughout his career, he cited both his Browns and Chiefs mates.
Schwartz ended his post with a thank you to the city and fans of Kansas City.
He reminisced about the Chiefs’ Super Bowl Championship parade and the support throughout his time there.
And he ended by calling himself a “Chief for life.”
What’s Next For Schwartz?
In his announcement, Schwartz announced his intent to continue living in the Kansas City area.
That is where he’ll continue his rehabilitation and any follow-up care.
Schwartz revealed that he still has residual pain that shoots into his leg.
But he says he is happy it is not a 24/7 occurrence anymore, indicating how serious the injury was.
Ex browns OL Mitchell Schwartz has the hottest wife. pic.twitter.com/bpbU5cEwou
— Derek (@RoseyFbaby) September 2, 2016
He looks forward to sharing his efforts in the kitchen on his “Mitch in the Kitch” YouTube series.
And hopefully, his back will allow him to enjoy some golf and travel, as well.
But most of all, he looks forward to more time with his wife, Brooke, and their 2 dogs.
Schwartz garnered 4 Pro Bowl nominations and started for the Chiefs’ 2020 Championship team.
There was no inkling of a desire to return to football in any type of capacity in his announcement.