Some players end up lasting more than two decades in the NFL before calling it a career, but there are others who simply can’t get there. On Monday, Kansas City Chiefs backup quarterback EJ Manuel announced he was going to retire from the game of football after just five seasons in the league. Manuel was selected in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft and was once seen as the future franchise quarterback of the Buffalo Bills.
NFL.com reported that Manuel’s retirement was already confirmed and in place with the league as far as the NFL Transactions report goes.
The 29-year-old Manuel was drafted by the Bills with the 16th overall pick in 2013, and the franchise truly thought they were getting a new leader for many years. Over the course of four seasons with the Bills, though, Manuel started only 17 games and had a record of 6-11 in those starts.
In 2016, the Bills chose not to exercise a fifth-year option on Manuel’s contract which allowed him to become a free agent. During his four seasons with Buffalo, Manuel threw 19 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, and had a quarterback rating of just 77.5.
After becoming a free agent, he signed with the Oakland Raiders where he played as a backup quarterback to Derek Carr. During his one season in Oakland, Manuel appeared in just two games and threw for 265 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
Manuel was released by the Raiders in early September of last year right before the 2018 NFL regular season was set to begin. After the Raiders made a trade and landed quarterback AJ McCarron from the Buffalo Bills, Manuel became expendable and was released.
The former Florida State quarterback did not play for any team in the 2018 regular season.
Some had already thought that his short career may have been over after sitting out for a full NFL season, but that wasn’t the case. In February of this year, the Kansas City Chiefs signed EJ Manuel and he was expected to be in contention to backup starter Patrick Mahomes.
With his retirement, the Chiefs will enter their Organized Team Activities (OTAs) with five quarterbacks on the roster – Mahomes, Chad Henne, Chase Litton, T.J. Linta (rookie), and Kyle Shurmur (rookie).
EJ Manuel only played five seasons in the NFL and appeared in just 30 games with 18 overall starts. He was plagued with a number of poor supporting casts around him and a constant quarterback battle with the Buffalo Bills. After five seasons and signing with his third team, he simply figured the time had come for him to retire.