The NY Jets surprised a lot of teams in the league. Especially the Carolina Panthers. This when they announced they had agreed to a deal with veteran center Ryan Kalil.
Ryan Kalil, who had played for the Carolina Panthers in his first 12 years in the league, had announced his retirement at the end of last season. Which was why his decision to return for another season took a lot of teams by surprise. What does this mean for the NY Jets?
“I want to apologize to anybody publicly or behind closed doors that I criticized for retiring and then coming back,” Kalil said with a smile. “I totally understand it now. Totally get it.”
“Must say I had a hard time moving on, I had a hard time turning the page,” the five-time Pro Bowl center said. “Think most players go through this, but especially coming off 2018. [I was] healthy, feeling great, feeling spry. I just felt like I had more football in me.”
Kalil was not feeling spry at the beginning of last season after an injury plagued 2017 campaign, which was why he declared he would retire after the season. After the season ended, he returned to California and “started living the beach life.”
Ryan Kalil Leaves Carolina Panthers for NY Jets
Ryan Kalil said he started to feel the itch to play again in March. Also, by May, he was working out at his alma mater, USC. He was convinced to come back for at least one more season by Jets general manager Joe Douglas, who managed to convince him that the Jets were the right team for him.
“It was a unique opportunity with an unbelievable person and player,” Douglas said. “I can’t tell you how excited I am that he chose to be here.”
Kalil agreed to an $8.4 million contract. This also includes incentives. Even though he does not feel like he is in football shape yet. Ryan expects to be ready by the time the season starts.
“I feel like I’m in great shape,” said Kalil, whose weight is back up to 297 after dropping as low as 260 during the offseason. “Football shape, I’m going to need a little time for that.”
The new look NY Jets with Ryan Kalil will be a force.