Seattle Seahawks OL Mike Iupati retires from NFL

Seattle Seahawks OL Mike Iupati
Image Credit: Seattle Seahawks Roundup, Seahawks.com

SEATTLE, Wash. — After 11 NFL seasons and 140 regular-season games, Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Mike Iupati is retiring from professional football.

A four-time Pro Bowler, Iupati announced his retirement in an interview with Peter Harriman of The Spokesman-Review. Iupati has roots in Idaho from his college tenure at the University of Idaho, where he was praised for being an All-American.

In his interview with Harriman, Iupati revealed that he told his agent he was done at the conclusion of the 2020 NFL season when the Seattle Seahawks lost 20-30 to an NFC West rival in the Los Angeles Rams.

“My body was telling me it was time to close the door,” he told Harriman.

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Iupati, who spent the majority of his years as a pro playing the Left Guard position, finished his career with well-over 6,500 career snaps played at the professional level. He was drafted 17th overall in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft to the San Francisco 49ers, where he spent the first five years of his career.

His best years spanned from 2012-2015 when he reached the Pro Bowl for four consecutive seasons. The first three of those seasons were spent in San Francisco, but the 2015 season was the first of four years playing for the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale.

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In his first season with the Seahawks, Iupati played a whopping 92 percent of offensive snaps. That number declined rapidly in his final NFL season in which Iupati played only 47% of snaps across 10 games. Injuries played a factor as Iupati dealt with neck stingers through much of this most recent season.

According to Pro Football Focus, Iupati allowed only one sack during his playing time this season and finished with a 67.8 player grade on the year. Now, the Seattle Seahawks must look at the 2021 NFL Draft and free agency as an opportunity to inject the No. 14 ranked O-Line in the league (According to PFF’s end-of-season rankings) with some new energy. Led by OL Duane Brown, 35, the Seattle Seahawks must address their aging offensive line and protect their star quarterback in Russell Wilson.

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