Ted Ginn once sprinted to a Division I scholarship and a first-round selection in the NFL draft. Now, he's coasting into retirement.
The 14-year veteran is hanging up his cleats. Ginn announced his retirement on Friday's edition of NFL Total Access on NFL Network.
"Sad to say, but not really sad to say, really joyful to say that I'm going to take my time and retire this year," Ginn said. "I had a great career. Little League to NFL. I have nothing to hold back. I enjoyed my time at every level. I played at the highest level. I'm just thankful to be able to have this time and it's a joy."
A natural athlete with elite speed, Ginn was a two-sport star at Cleveland's Glenville High School, playing quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back for the Tarblooders football team (which was coached by his father, revered community figure Ted Ginn Sr.), and winning a national title in the 110 meter hurdles as part of Glenville's track and field team. Ginn's football exploits earned him All-American status and a trip to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl before signing to play football at Ohio State.
Ginn, 36, starred as a receiver and returner with the Buckeyes, becoming a three-time All-American and garnering All-Big Ten first team honors in 2006. His game-breaking speed was enough for the Miami Dolphins to spend the ninth-overall pick on him in the 2007 NFL Draft.
Ginn's receiving career never reached the expectations placed upon him by his first-round selection, but he proved to be a quality secondary option in the passing game, finishing with 5,742 career receiving yards and 33 touchdowns. He was occasionally devastating in the return game, scoring seven total return touchdowns (four punt return scores, three kick return touchdowns) in his 14 years, but failed to make a Pro Bowl in his time in the NFL.
Ginn bounced around the league, moving from Miami to San Francisco in 2010, where he was more effective in the return game than as a traditional receiver. Ginn found new life as a receiver in Carolina, where he played for the Panthers in 2013 and 2015-2016. Ginn appeared in Super Bowl 50 in the 2015 season, showing a brief glimpse of the big play ability that defined his Ohio State career with a 45-yard reception that Ginn capped off by ducking out of bounds early in the third quarter of Carolina's eventual 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos. Ginn finished with four receptions for 74 yards in the defeat.
Ginn's best years as a pro receiver came in Carolina, where he caught 134 passes for 2,047 yards and 19 touchdowns over the three seasons he spent with the Panthers. That production bought him a few more years in the NFL with the Saints, where he caught 100 passes for 1,417 yards and eight scores from 2017-2019.
Ginn finished his time in the NFL with six games with the Chicago Bears in 2020 before calling it a career this week. He heads off into retirement with nearly a decade and a half of NFL experience, a conference title and two Super Bowl appearances to his name.
"I enjoyed everything that I done, so I have no regrets," Ginn said. "It was a joy. It was time, it was needed. I left a mark and that's all you can really do. My dad always told me to leave my name on something, I left my name on something."