The Buffalo Bills have announced that veteran defensive end Chris Kelsay is retiring from football.
A second-round draft pick out of Nebraska back in 2003, Kelsay played 10 seasons in Buffalo and was essentially a full-time starter in all but one of those. He was the third of three defensive ends that the Bills spent second-round picks on between 2002 and 2004 - following Aaron Schobel (2001) and Ryan Denney (2002) - and played longer in Buffalo than either of them.
Kelsay finishes his Bills career with 444 tackles, 33 sacks, three interceptions, two safeties and a touchdown. That scoring play was arguably the highlight moment of his career, when he tipped a Tony Romo pass and caught the deflection in the end zone for a score in a Monday Night Football game against the Dallas Cowboys. (You can see that play at the 1:05 mark in this video.)
The Bills signed Kelsay to a lucrative four-year contract extension at the start of the 2010 season; he had two years and $7.47 million in base salary alone remaining to him on that contract. His retirement takes that money, plus any bonuses he was due, off the books. The team will save roughly $5 million against this year's cap, as well.
After his 2012 season ended with a neck injury and a new coaching staff with a new defense came in, it was apparent that the time was ripe for the Bills and Kelsay to part ways after a decade. The well-respected multi-year team captain decided to call it a career rather than pursue employment elsewhere. Let's be sure to give a tip of the cap to a career Bill that gave the franchise his all for a decade, shall we?