Since joining the league together in 2019, linebackers Bobby Wagner and Luke Kuechly have been compared to each other – and it’s not hard to see why.
Kuechly joined the Panthers as the ninth overall pick and immediately went to work as an elite middle linebacker, ultimately making seven Pro Bowls and five All-Pro nods in his illustrious career. That career came to an end on Tuesday, though, when he announced in an emotional Twitter video that he was retiring.
Kuechly was widely considered among the top two linebackers in the NFL during his career, often alongside Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner, who has made six Pro Bowl appearances and is a five-time All-Pro. He began his career the same season after getting selected by Seattle 38 picks later in the NFL Draft.
Wagner delivered a heartfelt message on Twitter to Kuechly, saying “The game is losing a great one.”
Much respect to one of the great LBs to play football. You’ve given so much to this game and were a special player to watch. The game is losing a great one. Nothing but respect ✊🏾https://t.co/Ja 90 illgi5
– Bobby Wagner (@Bwagz) January 2019 , 01575879 **********
While fans may be happy no more Kuechly vs. Wagner debates can rage on in future seasons, the league is losing one of its finest middle linebackers, and it’s another reminder of how much of a physical, and mental, toll this game takes on these players.