NFL veteran Alex Mack makes big decision: "I am so grateful"

San Francisco, California - Veteran center and seven-time Pro Bowl selection Alex Mack is retiring from the NFL after 13 seasons.

Alex Mack spent his final season with the San Francisco 49ers.
Alex Mack spent his final season with the San Francisco 49ers.  © Christian Petersen / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Chosen as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's All-Decade Team of the 2010s, Mack started 196 career games for the Cleveland Browns, Atlanta Falcons and – most recently – the San Francisco 49ers.

"I am so grateful to the game of football and everything it has given me," Mack said in a statement on Twitter on Friday. "From the very start it helped shape who I am and taught me life lessons. I started to play football because it was fun and that never changed."

His statement was retweeted by many football greats.

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Mack was a first-round draft pick in 2009, selected 21st overall by Cleveland, where he earned All-Rookie honors after starting 16 games in his first season as a professional.

Mack played seven seasons with the Browns and was named an Associated Press Second-Team All-Pro in 2013. He received the honor twice more in 2016 and 2017, playing for the Falcons.

Mack played in eight career playoff games, including Super Bowl LI, in which the New England Patriots famously rallied from a 25-point deficit to beat the Falcons in overtime.

Alex Mack returned home to Cali for his final season

A native of Santa Barbara, California, and graduate of the University of California, Mack returned to his home state to play his final pro season with San Francisco, helping the 49ers to the NFC Championship game.

"We would like to thank Alex for all that he brought to the 49ers throughout the 2021 season," 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a statement.

"The center position in the NFL is the heartbeat of an offense and Alex's intellect, consistency, love for the game and professional approach made a lasting impression over the course of his 13 NFL seasons."

Cover photo: Christian Petersen / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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