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NFL Player Announces Surprise Retirement With a LinkedIn Post

Dan Vitale was released from the Patriots in May after opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID concerns.


In the ever-changing landscape of professional sports, it’s not uncommon for athletes to announce sudden departures from their perspective teams.

Stephen Maturen | Getty Images

The rise of social media in the past decade or so has made it much easier for word of an athlete retiring, being traded or being released from their team much more likely to get out before any official announcement is made thanks to leak accounts and the ability for information (whether true or false) to begin to spread rapidly digitally among fanbases.

In fact, some athletes and coaches alike will even choose social media as their go-to place to make an initial announcement about an employment change.

But the one platform you usually don’t expect to see athletes share news of a career change on? LinkedIn.

For (recently released) Patriots player Danny Vitale, announcing his departure from the NFL came in the form of a lengthy post on the career-focused website where he opened himself back up for any professional opportunities outside the world of sports.

“I have truly enjoyed every moment of playing in the NFL, especially for the Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, and New England Patriots,” Vitale said in his post. “However, I feel like my body is just ready to move on. I’m looking for a new role and would appreciate your support.”

He went on to list his academic credentials which include a Bachelor’s in Economics from Northwestern University alongside academic minors in Business Institutions and Integrated Marketing Communications.

“I am goal driven, hard working, and looking to improve in every aspect of my life every single day,” he continued. “Thank you in advance for any connections, advice, or opportunities you can offer as I move into this next stage of my life.”

Vitale’s NFL career began when he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in 2016 as a sixth-round pick on the practice squad before signing to the Cleveland Browns later that year.

The fullback played for the Browns for two seasons before being released and signed to the Packers before being signed to the New England Patriots in March of 2020.

Vitale was released from the Patriots in May after opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID concerns.

Many fans took to Twitter to show their support for the former pro-baller.

“Quite a shame to see him retire at such a young age, but health is the most important thing,” said Twitter user @DomDoesNFL.

“Danny Vitale was the nicest player I met at Browns Training Camp,” Twitter user @KatelinKnowsCLE heartwarmingly shared. “Literally told everyone he signed autographs for ‘Thank You for coming out’. He also went out of his way to talk to the kids he was signing for, making them feel special. What an awesome guy! Congrats on Retirement.”

Vitale is married to Tampa Bay Lightning reporter Caley Chelios, daughter of NHL legend Chris Chelios. The couple shares one child together who was born last April.

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