Putting a bow on a stellar 11-year career, former Seahawks left guard Mike Iupati has officially announced his retirement from the NFL.
As initially reported by Peter Harriman of the Spokeman Review, following another season where he dealt with multiple injuries, Iupati told his agent after the conclusion of the 2020 season that he would be hanging up his cleats.
“My body was telling me it was time to close the door,” Iupati told Harriman.
Drafted in the first round by the 49ers in the 2010 NFL Draft, Iupati became an instant starter at left guard and earned PFWA All-Rookie team recognition. Two years later, he earned his first Pro Bowl nod and garnered First-Team All-Pro honors as San Francisco won 11 games and eventually advanced to the Super Bowl.
Iupati wound up making the Pro Bowl each of the next three seasons and earned a Second-Team All-Pro selection in 2015 after signing with the Cardinals as a free agent.
However, injuries began to derail Iupati's career starting in 2017, as he missed all but one regular season game with a triceps injury. After returning to the starting lineup the following season, he again landed on injured reserve with an MCL injury after playing in just 10 games and Arizona voided the final year of his contract.
Formerly starring for the Idaho Vandals at the college level, Iupati wrapped up his career by returning to the Pacific Northwest and playing his final two seasons in Seattle. He started 15 games for the first time in three years and was named a Pro Bowl alternate in 2019, but a recurrent neck injury cost him both of the team's playoff games. He then missed six starts in 2020 and his neck once again caused issues, telling him it was time to walk away.
“I know I’m going to miss it. But I’m kind of excited. I’ve got four boys and I’m taking care of them every day,” Iupati said.
One of the best players ever to come out of Idaho, Iupati will wrap up his outstanding career having appeared in 140 games over 11 seasons, earning two All-Pro selections and and four Pro Bowl nods in the process. While he never won a Super Bowl, he did start 11 playoff games, including four NFC Championship games.
Moving forward, Iupati doesn't have any immediate plans to remain involved with football in a different capacity. But with his family settling down near Boise, Idaho, he does hope to eventually help out the local high school and coaching may be in his future.