JC Tretter, former Cleveland Browns middle, retires after 8 seasons within the NFL however stays NFLPA president

Former Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter has retired from football after eight seasons in the NFL but will remain in his role as president of the NFL Players Association.

Tretter, 31, announced his decision Thursday on Twitter, saying he was leaving the game “on my own terms” but also that he was “looking forward to doubling down on my job as president of the NFLPA.”

The Browns released Tretter in a pay cut last March, just after he was re-elected to a second term as NFLPA president.

Tretter has started every game but one – due to COVID-19 in 2021 – for the Browns over the past five seasons despite battling a knee injury that has limited how much he can train. With Tretter anchored in the middle, Brown’s offensive line is among the best in the league in 2020 and 2021.

The Browns, however, freed Tretter to remove $8.25 million against the salary cap and replace it with Nick Harris, who picked up a season-ending knee injury in the second game of his pre-season opener against Jacksonville. Instead of moving to re-sign Tretter, Brown added to the reserves Ethan Pocic to the initial midpoint.

As president of the NFLPA, Tretter helped guide the union through two tumultuous years amid the COVID-19 pandemic, collaborating with the league on protocols to keep players safe.

Shortly after Tretter’s first term began, the league and union agreed a new collective bargaining agreement that added 17 games to the regular season schedule and expanded the playoff field from 12 to 14 teams.

The new CBA also resulted in higher minimum salaries, increased benefits for current and former players, and expanded roster and training squads. The deal also increases players’ share of the league’s revenue from 47 percent before the CBA to 48.5% last year.

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