Two-time Pro Bowl safety Mike Adams retires after 16 NFL seasons and one Super Bowl appearance


After 16 NFL seasons where he played for six different teams, former Pro Bowl safety Mike Adams has decided to hang up his cleats for good. The 38-year-old, who was set to be a free agent this offseason, made the announcement during a Wednesday appearance on NFL Network. 

“I’m calling it quits,” Adams said. “Time to hang up the cleats. Retiring, done deal. It’s over,”

A big reason Adams decided to retire is because he didn’t want to go through another offseason of waiting for a team to call. In 2019, the veteran defensive back didn’t sign with a team until September when the Texans added him on a one-year deal. Under NFL rules, teams don’t have to give a veteran a fully guaranteed contract if they sign after Week 1, and due to that rule, Adams didn’t think anyone would be looking to sign him this year until September. 

“I got so used to the process,” Adams said. “I love training, but the process of being a vet and not being picked up early and having to wait until after the first game, because when you wait until after the first game, your contract is not guaranteed … I tear up a little bit, because for 16 years, [football] is what I do, but now I’m a civilian taking [my girls] to school and picking them up.”

Although Adams was never viewed as one of the premier safeties in the NFL, he lasted for 16 seasons in the league because he was almost always an above-average player. 

His playing career started in 2004 after the 49ers signed him as an  undrafted free agent out of Delaware. After three seasons in San Francisco, Adams signed with the Browns and eventually ended up spending five years in Cleveland. Following that stint, Adams went to Denver, where he had his greatest run of postseason success. During two seasons with the Broncos, Adams played in four playoff games, including a 43-8 loss to the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII, a game in which he had six tackles. 

Following the Broncos’ Super Bowl loss, Adams left the team in free agency to sign with the Colts. During his three seasons in Indy, the veteran was voted to consecutive Pro Bowls in 2014 and 2015, which ended up being the only two Pro Bowl appearances of his career. Adams played his final three seasons with the Panthers (2017-18) and Texans (2019), and ended up playing in at least one playoff game with each team. 

In 16 seasons, Adams tallied 30 career interceptions along with 930 tackles, 13 forced fumbles, 16 fumble recoveries, two touchdowns and six sacks.





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