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Lorenzo Alexander officially announces retirement following Buffalo Bills loss

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It’s over.

Buffalo Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander announced his retirement after the team’s loss to the Houston Texans in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. We knew this was probably coming, but it doesn’t make it easier.

Last offseason, Alexander sign a one-year contract and said he has one more year left before he retired to spend more time with his family. In Week 17, his daughter surprised him by singing the national anthem before the game and head coach Sean McDermott sent him out on the field and used a timeout to bring him back off to give him a curtain call at home.

Alexander suffered through an arduous NFL career before landing in Buffalo, bouncing between weight classes and positions as he tried to stick on NFL rosters. He played tight end, defensive end, defensive tackle, linebacker, and a lot of special teams before joining the Bills in 2016 and becoming Rex Ryan’s Swiss Army Knife.

He made the Pro Bowl that year with 12.5 sacks and was named MVP of the game. He never quite achieved that level of pass-rush success again, but was important in McDermott’s three years as coach as a leader and a multi-faceted player on defense. He played defensive tackle, defensive end, and linebacker for McDermott in different situations plus his great special teams play.

Alexander was also a great leader, serving on McDermott’s leadership council, as a union rep, talking to the media every day, and serving as a team captain. Recently in a radio interview, he was asked about how the Bills lost the leadership of Kyle Williams last year and presumably Alexander this year and he stopped the host, saying if there are no leaders to step up next year, then he didn’t do his job as a leader over his four season in Buffalo. He cited the great up-and-coming leaders on the Bills’ defense as examples.

Four seasons. It seems like so much longer for a player that has endeared himself to Bills fans. Good luck in your next endeavors, Lorenzo!