Just two weeks ago, Jared Veldheer looked to be heading into his 10th NFL season, signing a free agent deal with the Patriots. That apparently wasn’t for him because with the first day of OTA’s starting today, he has opted instead to retire from football. ESPN’s Mike Reiss first reported Veldheer’s intention.
Veteran OT Jared Veldheer has informed the Patriots that he plans to retire, per a source.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) May 21, 2019
Veldheer was the Raiders pick in the third round of the 2010 draft. After a few games at center, the former Hilldale College standout moved to left tackle, becoming the team’s full time starter.
He would be the team’s starting left tackle for four seasons, but once his contract was up, former Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie lowballed him and froze him out of contract talks. Veldheer’s camp wasn’t happy about his and decided to move on, signing with the Cardinals once free agency started. Then McKenzie rolled out the cliche “He didn’t want to be here” line, despite every indication from Veldheer that he very much wanted to re-sign with the Raiders prior to McKenzie dropping communication.
Over four seasons in Arizona, Veldheer was the starting left tackle the first three seasons. After an injury shortened 2016 season, he would move to right tackle in 2017. Following that season, the Cardinals traded him to the Denver Broncos, replacing another former Raiders draft pick, Menelik Watson at right tackle.
Injuries had clearly begun taking their toll on Velhdeer likely contributing to his retirement.