Indianapolis Colts star outside linebacker Robert Mathis announced that he will retire from football after Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The 35-year-old Mathis has been a Colt for his entire career, having being drafted in the fifth round in 2003 out of Alabama A&M.
Mathis is the NFL’s all-time leader in strip-sacks, with 46. He is the Colts’ all-time leader in sacks, with 128, having sacked 61 different players. He is seventh in franchise history in games played, and one of just four players – the others are named Unitas, Manning and Wayne – to suit up for the team for 14 seasons.
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Mathis posted a video pronouncing himself a “Colt for life” in making his retirement official.
A video posted by Robert Mathis (@rmathis_the1st) on
Years ago, when Tony Dungy took a look at Mathis as a draft prospect, the future Hall of Fame coach was in awe, according to Colts.com.
“Other than Barry Sanders, the best college highlight tape I’ve ever seen,” Dungy said of Mathis’ film. “I’m saying, ‘I don’t think this guy is real.’ Of course it’s small school and grainy film and people are saying against different competition he won’t be able to do it.
“Coming around the corner, sack fumbles, chasing people down 30 yards down field, blocking kicks, running down making tackles on kickoff, just doing everything you could do on the football field. Then went Robert came in he was so quiet and unassuming. I said, ‘Is this the same guy we saw on this tape?’ But he was just determined to be a leader with his play, not with his words. He’s been special.”