D'Brickashaw Ferguson retiring after 10 seasons

After a decade without missing a game, New York Jets left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson is hanging up his cleats.

Ferguson, 32, is retiring after 10 seasons in the league, the veteran left tackle announced via Twitter on Saturday.

ESPN's Rich Cimini first reported the surprise retirement.

The news comes two days after it was reported that the Jets asked Ferguson to take a pay cut from his $8.6 million salary, in an effort to free up salary-cap space to potentially sign quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Ferguson's retirement is a shock to the Jets' fan base, but Breer reports it's something he's been considering for a while. He's kept the Jets in the loop throughout the process.

Perhaps the Jets weren't blindsided by the retirement, but they are left without a blindside blocker. Gang Green has next to nothing remaining at left tackle. The lack of depth at tackle stems in part from Ferguson's durability.

After being drafted No. 4 overall in 2006, Ferguson has started 160 out of 160 regular season games in his career and didn't miss a single snap due to injury. In those 160 games Ferguson was on the field for 10,707 of 10,708 snaps.

If durability is a talent, Ferguson was a superstar. He was also one of the NFL's better blockers for the majority of his career.

While his play has fallen off in the last two seasons, for a decade Ferguson has been a rock every Fall Sunday for New York, at one of the most vital positions in the NFL. Whoever is taking snaps under center will sorely miss Ferguson's presence.

The left tackle's retirement does help alleviate a massive salary cap problem for the Jets. Ferguson was scheduled to count $14.1 million against the cap space, his retirement will save Gang Green more than $9 million. At least part of that boon should go to buffer contract talks with Fitzpatrick.

Whatever the Jets gain in cap space -- or Fitzpatrick in dinero -- they lose in stability.

The free agent market at left tackle has been picked clean. A possible trade with the Denver Broncos for Ryan Clady is one possibility -- one that would bring back some cap problems. The other likelihood is the Jets using a high draft pick on a blindside tackle.

After 10 years of stability at the left tackle spot, on Friday the Jets find themselves without a franchise cornerstone.

Update: The Jets traded for Broncos left tackle Ryan Clady, a source informed of the deal told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.

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