Buffalo Bills 23-year-old linebacker A.J. Tarpley announced on Instagram that he is retiring from the NFL after just one season because of four diagnosed concussions he suffered in his career.
"The only thing comforting about not knowing this play would be the last of my career is knowing that I never took a second for granted," Tarpley wrote on Instagram. "After months of introspection, I am retiring from football. I suffered the 3rd and 4th concussions of my career this past season and I am walking away from the game I love to preserve my future health.
"This decision is the hardest I've made yet but after much research and contemplation I believe it's what is best for me going forward. I'd like to extend my gratitude to everyone that helped me along the way. Thank you to my coaches at Wayzata and Stanford, and to lifelong friends that I was blessed to call teammates. You all molded me into the man I am today.
"To my family, I'll never be able to repay your unwavering support and love, I just hope that I can continue to show how gracious I am and make you proud. I also want to thank the Buffalo Bills organization, coaches, and teammates for helping me fulfill my lifelong dream in the NFL.
"Last but not least, I'm proud to be a part of #BillsMafia and playing in front of the best fans in the league is something I won't forget. Thank you God for all that you have blessed me. I'm excited for my future."
Tarpley played in 14 games for the Bills last season after being undrafted out of Stanford. He had eight tackles and two interceptions.