“After a lot of careful though and prayer I have decide(d) to retire from football,” reads the statement, in part. “I have been fortunate to enjoy seasons and have had the opportunity to play with so many good players and coaches. I was on some great teams before the Vikings, but it wasn’t until I got to Minnesota that I really felt at home. For seven years I was able to play for a great organization and in front of the best fans. U.S. Bank Stadium is an incredible place to play football.”
Berger, 35, certainly isn’t hanging up his cleats due to lack of interest. Both the Vikings and the Lions had standing offers out to Berger, while at least two other unidentified clubs may have also been involved in talks. However, reports had surfaced as early as last June indication that Berger was expected to retire following the 2017 campaign, so after testing free agency, he’s following through on what was likely his original plan.
A former sixth-round pick, Berger started at least 10 games only one time during the first decade of his career before signing with Minnesota in 2015. Berger, who also spent time with the Dolphins and Cowboys, became a fixture on the Vikings’ front five, starting 46 games over the next three campaigns. Capable of playing both center and guard, Berger was still effective in 2017, as Pro Football Focus graded him as the NFL’s No. 23 guard among 77 qualifiers.
PFR extends its best wishes to Berger and his family as he enters retirement.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.