A veteran NFL defensive lineman is retiring less than two months before the start of the 2022 season. Eddie Goldman, who signed a contract with the Atlanta Falcons earlier this month, informed the team he is planning to retire. Goldman signed with the Falcons after spending seven years with the Chicago Bears.
Goldman was selected in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Bears. He had a strong rookie season, recording 22 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 15 games with 12 starts. Goldman would continue to be a consistent defensive lineman for the Bears up until the 2020 season. He opted out that year due to the COVID-19 pandemic but returned in 2021 and posted 22 tackles and half a sack in 14 games.
"It was kind of painful, you know?" Goldman said last year to ChicagoBears.com when asked about watching the team play in 2020. . "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. Alright, around this time, they're having the locker room speech. All of that and just being way from it just kind of killed me.
"[There] was a lot of anxiety. It was like I couldn't really enjoy it because I was so much in it. I lived and died with every play, so it was tough." Goldman also said that stepping away from football "really took a toll on me. "Especially when I watched the season and how it played out and how we made the playoffs and everything. It was something to experience, but it wasn't really a fun thing."
Goldman was released by the Bears in March. He was looking to revive his career with the Falcons, a team that had former Bears general manager Ryan Pace as part of its personnel staff. Goldman's retirement hurts the Falcons as they need the depth on the defensive line. The Falcons are a team in transition as they traded their starting quarterback Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts. They have not reached the playoffs since the 2017 season, and some have argued that their roster might be the worst in the NFL.