Saints Pro Bowl center Max Unger retires

New Orleans Saints C Max Unger is retiring from the NFL. More

New Orleans Saints C Max Unger is retiring from the NFL. More

In a surprising move, New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl center Max Unger has made a decision to retire.

Rapoport added that Unger is officially on the reserve/retired list, as of Saturday afternoon. He had one year remaining on his contract.

It's not clear how much salary cap space the Saints will recoup with Unger retiring, but they would have saved $6.95 million had they released him outright. They still will have to account for $1.75 million in "dead money" against the cap from his previous signing bonus. Easton was a starting guard for the Minnesota Vikings in 2017, before he missed all of last season with a neck injury.

Unger, 32, was one of the best centers in the National Football League and had played at a consistently high level since joining the team as part of the landmark Jimmy Graham trade with the Seattle Seahawks in 2015.

Unger quickly established himself as a captain and a leader for one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. He is widely credited for having a pivotal role in the turnaround of the Saints' O-line, helping keep perennial Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees upright and fueling a rushing attack headlined by Alvin Kamara and now-ex-Saints running back Mark Ingram.

Seattle drafted Unger in the second round in 2009, where he went on to receive All-Pro honors in 2012 in addition to earning Pro Bowl nods in 2012 and 2013.

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