Saints’ James Hurst Announces Retirement After 10 NFL seasons

New Orleans Saints lineman James Hurst announced his retirement on Wednesday, marking the end of his 10-year career in the NFL.

Saints’ James Hurst Announces Retirement After 10 NFL seasons

Career Highlights and Transition

Hurst joined the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2014, where he played for six seasons as a left tackle and left guard. After the 2020 NFL draft, he signed with the Saints in free agency, starting 51 games over four seasons at both offensive tackle and guard.

“Every year playing this sport has been a blessing from God,” Hurst posted on Instagram. “Football, and the people around it, have played a huge part in shaping me into the man I am today. I spent Twenty-four of my thirty-two years of life training for and playing this game and retiring will be a huge, yet exciting, change in my life.”

Hurst’s Impact on Saints’ Offensive Line

Hurst’s decision to retire adds to the Saints’ concerns about their offensive line just before the 2024 NFL draft kicks off on Thursday night.

Currently, only center Erik McCoy and right guard Cesar Ruiz will retain their starting roles from the 2023 offensive line. However, right tackle Ryan Ramczyk’s availability for training camp and the season is uncertain due to knee issues. Trevor Penning lost his starting position after just five games last season, and Andrus Peat, who played left tackle and left guard, was not re-signed during free agency.

The Saints hold the 14th overall pick in the draft and need an offensive tackle after Peat and Hurst’s departures.

“I think it’s a good year for offensive players,” Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said Tuesday of the draft. “That’s probably the way I’d put it — a little better offensively than defensively. … I think everyone would say that the offensive line is a position of strength in this draft and wide receivers. There are players at every position. It’s just a matter of how we look at them vs. some of these other clubs.”

Derek Carr’s Tribute to Hurst

Saints quarterback Derek Carr said he will Hurst.

“Once you get past 10 years, especially on the O-line and all that kind of stuff, those talks start happening in your head,” Carr said Wednesday. “… Just his impact he made on our locker room, the friend he was to me, the teammate he was to me when we went through our struggles early on … all that stuff matters, and he is one of those guys.

“As a teammate, as a leader, he is someone I looked up to.”

This report used information from ESPN.

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