Nine-time Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca is calling it quits after 13 seasons with the Steelers, Jets and Cardinals.
Usually when someone big retires, we rifle through their stats to give some sort of gravity to the end of his career, but the beautiful aspect of being an offensive lineman is that there is no way to quantify the relevance or impact of your career in a tangible way.
Still, some indisputable facts:
- Faneca was one of the greatest Steelers of all-time. He was named to the 75th anniversary all-time team in 2007.
- He wasn’t just a nine-time Pro Bowler, but he was also a nine-time All-Pro, which is much more significant.
- He was also named to the NFL’s 2000s all-decade team.
- In 2008, Faneca became the highest-paid guard in NFL history.
- He accomplished all of this despite having to overcome epilepsy.
- He’s going to get serious consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in five years.
So, is Faneca a Hall of Famer? Being a guard could hurt his case more than anything. Tackles get significantly more credit than interior offensive linemen do, and only nine of the 35 modern era offensive linemen in the Hall of Fame were career guards.
Still, Faneca has the advantage of being the best player at his position for the better part of a decade. And unless your name is Ray Guy, that usually means you’re destined to end up in Canton at some point.
“After a lot of thought I am announcing my retirement from Professional Football. Playing in the NFL has been a childhood dream come true. Thirteen years later I have decided that it is time to move on.
“From the dog days of training camp to winning a Super Bowl the memories are endless. The greatest memory that I will leave the game with is all of the lifelong friendships I have made
“I want to specifically thank the Steelers, Jets, and Cardinals. Each and every teammate, coach and front office employee has made a lasting impact on my life. It was a pleasure playing for first class organizations who surrounded me with incredibly dedicated individuals. I want to thank each of the beat writers that covered me throughout my career. These guys work hard and always treated me with respect. I want to also thank the fans. The roar of the crowd kept me going more than the fans will ever know.
“It is time to move on to the next chapter in my life. I can’t wait to spend more time with my family. Playing in this league for as long as I did takes sacrifice, not only by me, but by each of them. I want to thank Julie, Annabelle and Burton for allowing me to fulfill all of my boyhood dreams. I couldn’t have done it without you.”