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Concussions, other health concerns led to Ali Marpet’s retirement, report says

The Bucs’ Pro Bowl left guard walked away from the game in February at age 28.
Bucs left guard Ali Marpet retired shortly after his first Pro Bowl appearance in early February.
Bucs left guard Ali Marpet retired shortly after his first Pro Bowl appearance in early February. [ DAVID BECKER | AP ]
Published May 18

Three months after his stunning retirement from pro football, former Bucs left guard Ali Marpet has specified some of the health concerns that led to his departure at age 28.

In an interview with The Guardian, Marpet said the concussion he suffered in 2020 — which sidelined him for three games — and ensuing subconcussive blows were contributing factors in his decision. But so was sleep apnea, hypertension and the rigor of maintaining the mass of an NFL offensive lineman.

“I was eating as clean as possible for a 300-pounder,” Marpet told reporter Melissa Jacobs, “but having all the weight on your body is bad.”

Marpet, who earned his first Pro Bowl selection in 2021, had two years remaining on his $20.625 million contract when he walked away after only seven seasons. A second-round draft pick out of Division III Hobart College in 2015, he now wants to pursue a master’s degree (in mental health counseling or marriage and family therapy) and is volunteering at Metropolitan Ministries.

Additionally, he got engaged in March to girlfriend Maeghan Kane.

“The biggest reason for me (to retire) was the physical toll: I didn’t want any more of that,” Marpet told The Guardian.

“There were some things I wanted to accomplish in my career that I had done. I loved playing football. But one of my strongest values is health, and if I’m really going to live out what’s important to me it, doesn’t make sense to keep playing.”

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls

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