NFL retirements come in all shapes and forms. Be it via team statements, photos or videos, players have always found an effective way to let the world known that they would hang up the cleats and end their careers in pro football.
Then, there is Danny Vitale who announced his retirement from the game in a rather unusual fashion. Two weeks after his release from the New England Patriots, Vitale updated his profile on the business connection platform LinkedIn by releasing the following statement and putting himself on the job market again:
Hi everyone - As many of you may know, I have been playing professional football for the last 5 years. I have truly enjoyed every moment of playing in the NFL, especially for the Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, and New England Patriots. However, I feel like my body is just ready to move on. I’m looking for a new role and would appreciate your support. For those of you who do not know me well, I graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in economics. I also earned a minor in business institutions and integrated marketing communications. I am passionate about anything I set my mind to. I am goal driven, hard working, and looking to improve in every aspect of my life every single day. Thank you in advance for any connections, advice, or opportunities you can offer as I move into this next stage of my life. #OpenToWork
A sixth-round selection by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2016 NFL Draft, Vitale appeared in 44 games over the course of his career. He played 24 contests with the Browns (2016-17) and 20 more as a member of the Packers (2018-19). Even though he was serving primarily as a lead blocker, he also touched the football 16 times for 148 combined yards.
In 2020, Vitale took his talents to New England. Joining the Patriots as a potential candidate to fill the fullback position that was vacated by James Develin’s retirement, he was expected to compete against second-year man Jakob Johnson over the summer. Such a competition never materialized, however, as Vitale instead decided to opt out of the 2020 NFL season due concerns about the Coronavirus pandemic.
While the 27-year-old was projected to get another shot at earning a roster spot this season, the Patriots had different plans in mind and released him in late May. Not even two weeks later, Vitale has stepped away from the game for good — moving to a different kind of free agent market.