Former Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson expected to retire

Rodney Hudson #61. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Rodney Hudson #61. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Former Kansas City Chiefs center Rodney Hudson is expected to retire this offseason, according to reports.

The Kansas City Chiefs currently have the best center in the NFL, but a former Chiefs center is making headlines at the present moment. The Arizona Cardinals expect center Rodney Hudson to retire this offseason, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano. Hudson’s current contract ends after the 2023 season, and he has a non-guaranteed salary of $2.05 million.

The 33-year-old veteran mulled retirement last offseason, following two injury-riddled seasons in Arizona. He would join wide receiver A.J. Green and defensive end J.J. Watt as the third Cardinal to retire this offseason alone.

The Chief selected Hudson with the 55th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, and he did not disappoint. Hudson took over the starting center spot from Casey Wiegmann following his rookie season. Hudson started his sophomore season strong, starting the Chiefs’ first three games. His season ending suddenly due to a broken leg in Week 4.

Hudson ended his tenure in Kansas City on a strong note. He started all 16 games in 2014, the first such occurrence in his career. PFF and other analysts considered a top-five center in the league as Hudson entered free agency after the 2014 season.  Ultimately, Hudson played in 51 games with 35 starts in four seasons with the Chiefs.

Hudson spent half his career with an AFC West rival, the Las Vegas Raiders. His career peaked with the silver and black, as he earned three Pro Bowls appearances and second-team All-Pro honors in 2019. He, alongside Donald Penn and Kelechi Osemele, formed one of the Raiders’ better offensive line units in recent memory.

The Raiders traded Hudson and a seventh-round pick to the Cardinals ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft. COVID-19 and multiple injuries have hampered Hudson during his Arizona tenure, limiting him to only 16 games in two seasons.

Hudson played in 12 NFL seasons, totaling 159 game appearances and 143 career starts.

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