Jewish Super Bowl champion Mitchell Schwartz retires from the NFL


(JTA) — Jewish Super Bowl champion offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz has officially retired from the National Football League, almost two years after his career was derailed by injury.

Schwartz announced his decision Thursday on Twitter.

“I’ve enjoyed so much about my time in the NFL and am walking away feeling very fulfilled,” he wrote. “Winning the Super Bowl was the pinnacle of my career. My 7,894 consecutive snaps streak and 4 All-Pro nominations are my proudest individual accomplishments, far exceeding my own expectations.”

Schwartz was a member of the 2019 Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, who defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV in February 2020.

The 33-year-old Southern California native has been outspoken about his Jewish identity throughout his career. 

He and his brother Geoff, also a former NFL player, wrote a book together in 2016 titled “Eat My Schwartz: Our Story of NFL Football, Food, Family, and Faith.” They were the first Jewish brothers to play pro football since Ralph and Arnold Horween in 1923.

“Once we heard the stat, we realized just how rare this really is,” Schwartz told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in 2016. “So we both thought it was important to share our story — for Jewish kids, and in general, about how we both wound up where we are.”

Schwartz attended a Conservative synagogue growing up in West Los Angeles, and at his parents’ request, delayed his introduction to football until after his bar mitzvah.

When he did start playing, he barely stopped. Schwartz started all 51 possible games during his career at the University of California, Berkeley. 

Schwartz was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the second round of the 2012 draft and would spend the first four seasons of his career with Cleveland. 

In 2016, Schwartz signed a five-year deal with the Chiefs. His streak of 7,894 consecutive snaps spanned from his NFL debut in 2012 through November 2019, and was the longest streak among active players. 

Along the way, Schwartz was named to the Associated Press First Team All-Pro and three times to the Second Team All-Pro, plus CBS Sports’ NFL All-Decade Team. He was inducted into the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.

Schwartz suffered a back injury prior to Week 6 of the 2020 season that would ultimately spell the end of his career in football. Schwartz’s last NFL game was Oct. 19, 2020, and he was ultimately released by the Chiefs in March 2021, just two weeks after undergoing back surgery.

In his announcement, Schwartz said he is feeling good — but knows his body is forever changed. He added that he looks forward to devoting more time to his other passions, including cooking, travel and his family.

“Football was a big part of my life and always will be,” he wrote. “I love the game and have a passion for sharing my knowledge. But I never defined myself as only a football player.”

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