NFLPA president and free agent center Kevin Mawae has called a press conference for late Friday afternoon, where the 39-year old is expected to announce his retirement from professional football.
A second-round pick (36th overall) in the 1994 NFL Draft out of LSU by the Seattle Seahawks, Mawae moved into the starting lineup five games into his NFL career, where he would remain for the final 238 games of his 16-year career.
Moved to center in 1996, Mawae started 177 consecutive games for the Seahawks and New York Jets until a triceps injury sidelined him during the 2006 season. Released by the Jets the following off-season, Mawae signed with the Tennessee Titans, where he started 61 of a possible 64 games, earning trips to the Pro Bowl after the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
Mawae’s first NFL start came on October 9, 1994 as a member of the Seahawks against the Denver Broncos in the Kingdome. His final NFL start was on January 3, 2010 as a member of the Tennessee Titans against the Seahawks in Qwest Field, which sits on the site of the old Kingdome, which was imploded on March 26, 2000.
Mawae captained a Titans offensive line that paved the way for Chris Johnson’s 2,000-yard season in 2009. Johnson was nine years old when Mawae made his first NFL start.
Overall, Mawae earned eight trips to the Pro Bowl (1999-2004, 2008-09) and was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2000s in January.
Despite being 39, Mawae had hoped to find a new NFL home for 2010. Mawae was not signed during the off-season, and with the regular season getting underway last night, it appears unlikely that an NFL team would sign him at this point of the NFL calendar.