This might be old news by now, but Ramon Foster retired. In fact, it’s getting on two weeks ago since the 34-year old announced that he was at the end of the line as far as his career goes, spending all 11 seasons in the NFL with the team who originally signed him as a college free agent, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
And that’s how he wanted to go out, as he told The Fan shortly after he announced that he would be retiring last week. In his comments, he seemed to indicate that it may not have been entirely his decision (he did sign a two-year contract last offseason), but when the reality set in that he wouldn’t be playing in Pittsburgh in 2020, there was no other choice.
“I had conversation with the Steelers, the front office, Coach Tomlin and stuff like that”, he said. “It was just one of those situations where it was like, hey, if for anything, I’ll bow out instead of having to go the other route, because my mentality the whole time, after being here for so long, is just simply, it was Pittsburgh or nowhere else for me, especially this late in my career”.
Foster made the 53-man roster as a rookie in 2009 out of Tennessee, and started four games in place of Chris Kemoeatu due to injury. He would go on to start 145 games over the course of his career, becoming a full-time starter in 2013 at left guard. He had started the previous 16 games at right guard the year before, but that was not as scheduled, instead coming due to David DeCastro’s injury.
“You’ve just kind of got to know when”, he said about the decision to call it a career. “You can be one of those guys that continues to dive in, dive in, dive in, and one of the things that I never wanted to do was, one, not be smart about my situation and position I was in, and the other one was just to continue to run myself into the ground, where the production isn’t where I would want it to be”.
Many would argue that his performance in the 2019 season wasn’t where they wanted it to be. Perhaps he also felt that way to some degree, and that shaped his decision to retire. But one thing he did know was that, even if the Steelers looked to part ways, he would not wear another jersey.
“If it would’ve been three or four years ago, you know, it’s a different circumstance. But to me, it was like, hey, know when to say when, is more what I was getting to”, he said. And so yet another great Steelers starts and ends his career in the black and gold, a feat that should be celebrated. It’s only too bad he couldn’t end it with a championship.