Will 2021 be the JC Tretter Center’s last with the Cleveland Browns or maybe his entire career?
At the start of the 2021 season, it looked like this could be JC Tretter’s last season with the Cleveland Browns due to salary cap constraints, but increasingly I can’t help but wonder if this will be his. last season in the NFL.
As the Browns contemplate a possible contract extension with Wyatt Teller, it always seemed reasonable that they could get the money to pay it off from Tretter, who is expected to earn $ 9.875 million in 2022.
The Browns were keen to prepare for life after Tretter, sending Nick Harris off with a long trail to prepare both physically and mentally before his career really took off. Tretter has embraced the role of being a mentor and passing on as much wisdom as he can offer his replacement.
When you look at Tretter’s career as a whole, you see someone who has had an intimate relationship with physical pain, almost entirely in their legs. With the Green Bay Packers, he suffered a pair of leg injuries that forced him to run out of time. And while he hasn’t missed a game in four years with the Browns, almost everything has been done with a smile and enduring lingering injuries.
He played most of the 2018 season on one leg after suffering a high ankle sprain in the first week of the season. Tretter couldn’t train, but he would go out on game day and play. A feat that his teammates Joel Bitonio and Kevin Zeitler still cannot believe he was able to achieve.
Listening to her speak during media availability, he often mentions that he’s trying to avoid putting extra mileage on his body, focusing on staying healthy. Considering one of the injuries he suffered was in OTAs with the Packers, that’s understandable, but he also looks like someone who’s been forced to deal with a bit before.
Tretter did not lose a step in his game. In fact, in 2020 he was one of the best centers in the NFL and should have been named to the Pro Bowl. The fact that Maurkice Pouncey was selected despite how poorly he played is an insult to what Tretter has endured to be one of the best in the league.
We saw it with Joe Thomas, who gave everything for ten seasons. Thomas quietly treated far more than anyone thought and after tearing his triceps he revealed the extent of it by announcing his retirement. His knee was a source of immense discomfort and Thomas did not want to hang on for the sake of hanging on.
Tretter seems to me like someone who will take a similar approach. Tretter is unlikely to have any interest in continuing his career at a lesser level, given what he has been able to accomplish and what he could accomplish in life after football.
Tretter will be 31 after this season, at which age Thomas retired.
Entering his ninth season in the NFL, his fifth with the Browns, Tretter absolutely has goals he still wants to accomplish, not least of which is to win the Super Bowl. However, the past two years have helped to show that he may like football, but he doesn’t need it.
In his role as president of the NFLPA, Tretter managed to do something he aspired to do since dating Cornell. He majored in labor relations and being the chief player of the NFLPA has allowed him to explore work in this field for the past two seasons while continuing to play.
It stands to reason that he always hoped to do something in this direction after his NFL career and he’s already experiencing it now, which can kindle that fire for the next challenge of his life, especially the one. that doesn’t demand so much from his body.
The reality is that Tretter may not know what he wants to do at this point and if he enjoys a healthy 2021 season he may be more inclined to play another season. It’s unclear how interested he would be in another uniform, but if the right opportunity arises, he could be interested.
This is unlikely to be a financially motivated decision as after this season Tretter will have earned less than $ 45 million in his career. With another potentially lucrative career ahead of him, he has a lot of potential to make money.
It just wouldn’t surprise me if 2021 was Tretter’s last season in the NFL, which would make him the first of Andrew Berry’s acquisitions (this one in his time working with Sashi Brown) to call him a. distinguished career. No matter when Tretter decides to retire, he embodies everything this new era of the Browns aspires to be and his run to Cleveland should be celebrated.
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