Veteran defensive tackle Eddie Goldman is retiring from the NFL. The Atlanta Falcons announced his decision Tuesday.
Goldman spent his first six seasons in the league with the Chicago Bears.
Following his release by the Bears in March, the 28-year-old signed a one-year deal with the Falcons on July 6.
The Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs reported last July that some around the NFL thought Goldman was considering retirement. He sat out the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic and hadn't yet arrived at training camp.
Upon rejoining the team, Goldman spoke of how much he missed playing while on the sidelines the previous year.
"It was kind of painful, you know?" he told reporters last July. "Because when you’re used to the routine, it’s like you know what times they’re hitting the field at this time, they’re warming up around this time, they’re having the locker room speech. You know what I mean. All of that and just being away from it just kind of killed me."
It appears Goldman had a change of heart in terms of his passion for the game that could've been spurred on by his performance in 2021.
The 6'3" nose tackle appeared in 14 games and only made 10 starts, his fewest since 2016. Only once was he on the field for at least 50 percent of Chicago's defensive snaps. By comparison, he hit that threshold nine times in 2019.
Given his reputation, the Falcons were almost certainly counting on Goldman to at least provide competition for Anthony Rush for the starting nose tackle job. Now, they'll have to look elsewhere to bolster their depth on the interior of their line.