July 15 (UPI) — Cincinnati Bengals guard Clint Boling announced his retirement Monday after he missed all spring workouts with a blood clot in his leg.
Boling, 30, was a fourth-round pick of the Bengals in 2011. The former Georgia Bulldog started 109 games, the majority at left guard, and played all 16 games in a season five times since becoming a starter in 2012.
“There were talks about the risks associated with playing again,” Boling told the Bengals’ official website. “When it came down to do it, ultimately I couldn’t wrap my head around it with the family and two kids.
“There’s no doubt in my mind if I’m 22, 23 years old with no wife, no kids and it’s just me playing football, I’m making a different decision,” he added. “But at this point in my life, I have more important things to take care of than myself.”
Boling had one year left on a five-year, $ 26 million extension he signed before the 2015 season.
Brown called Boling a “first-rate” person in a statement he issued to reporters.
“As a lineman, he never got the credit he deserved,” Brown said. “That is often the case with good players who do their jobs well, but around the team, he was highly respected and appreciated beyond his playing abilities.”
Boling’s wife, Kelly, called his retirement “bittersweet.”
“I always enjoyed watching Clint play,” she said. “It gave me chills every single time he ran out of the tunnel. But life is a lot bigger than football.”
The Bengals are expected to be without another projected starting offensive lineman, rookie Jonah Williams, after he tore his labrum this off-season.