|Dielman's family and quality of life were two reasons he has decided to retire. (US Presswire)|
We told you the other day that Chargers guard Kris Dielman was close to announcing his retirement. For Dielman -- one of the NFL’s better guards who had suffered a grand mal seizure on an airplane last season after sustaining a concussion vs. the Jets on Oct. 23 -- that day will come to fruition Thursday.
The Chargers proclaimed it so on Wednesday night, announcing that Dielman would hold a news conference to officially announce his retirement.
“I love this game. I’ve given it everything I have,” Dielman said in a statement released by the team. “It’s time for me to focus on my future and my quality of life. I want to thank the Spanos family and the Chargers for giving me the opportunity in the NFL. Because they believed in me, I was able to realize a dream and for that I will be forever grateful.”
Dielman’s retirement was somewhat of a surprise to the team, which believed he would return in 2012. But following his concussion and seizure, which landed him on the IR list, and after listening to doctors talk about his quality of life in the future, Dielman, who supposedly still wanted to continue his career, decided it would be best to leave the game.
“Kris played the game the way it’s supposed to be played: with heart and passion,” Chargers president Dean Spanos said. “He’s a throwback … an old-school player. All he cares about is his family and playing football and today he’s making family his top priority, as it should be, and I respect him tremendously for that.”
Dielman was an undrafted free agent in 2003, and he originally showed up in San Diego expecting to play defensive tackle (he was a tackle and a tight end at Indiana), but Chargers coaches convinced him to give offensive line a try.
After working as the backup left guard for two seasons, he became a starter in the third game of 2005. He started 97 of the next 100 games (he missed the three because of injury), and he was good enough to earn four-straight Pro Bowl honors and to be named as a member of the 50th anniversary Chargers all-time team.
“It has been an honor to play next to Kris for so many years,” center Nick Hardwick said. “His loyalty and toughness gave me and the guys who played with him a sense of security, knowing that we had the baddest guy on the field. And we knew nobody wanted to find out how bad a dude he was.
“He taught us about loyalty, will power and friendship. I will certainly miss being in the huddle standing next to my best friend and personal protector.”
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.