Clint Boling, the most experienced and versatile offensive lineman for the Bengals with most of his 109 starts in the left guard, announced his retirement on Monday at the age of 30 after being archived all spring due to a blood clot .
After meeting with a variety of specialists after the discovery of the clot in January, Boling felt he made the difficult decision, but could only take it for his wife and two daughters of 20 and five months.
"There was talk of the risks associated with playing again," Boling said. "When it was time to do it, in the end I could not wrap my head around the family and two children, I have no doubt in my mind if I'm 22, 23 years old, without a wife, without children and I'm just playing soccer, I'm taking a different decision, but at this moment in my life I have more important things to take care of than myself. "
Boling, accompanied by his wife Kelly, returned to Paul Brown Stadium on Monday morning to meet with Bengals president Mike Brown before an announcement that ends the race of one of the pillars of the Bengals' resupply in the 2011 that resulted in five consecutive games after the season. appearances. After they took A.J. Green and Andy Dalton in the first and second rounds, respectively, of that draft, went to look for their Georgia teammate in the fourth round of the Boling 49-race Athens race that included starting at least 11 games in three different positions on the line.
Along with Green and Dalton, Boling started the first game in Cleveland, as well as the next two, as right guard before veteran Bobbie Williams returned to the lineup and began starting as a left guard in the seven starting since then and in three games Offside games as one of its most assertive and intelligent players. With the line defeated in the last two seasons, Boling moved to left tackle in the last two games of 2017 and 2018 and remained famous at the last moment of the season when he kept at bay the old Rack The Ravens, Terrell Suggs, while Dalton converted a fourth and 12 on a 49-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyler Boyd with 44 seconds remaining who won the game.
It is one of those plays that hopes defines his career.
"A guy who came in and did his job every day," Boling said. "Do what it takes to win. No extra motivation is needed. Do everything you can to try to win a game. Just do my job and run my business every day. "
Boling's retirement continues a two-year upheaval in the front that began when he was the only line holder returning for Opening Day last season. The move comes less than a month after rookie left tackle Jonah Williams suffered what appears to be a torn labrum ending the season. As Boling did not practice, the Bengals had moved left tackle Cordy Glenn to Williams' left guard, but he is now back in left tackle and the left guard's scrum has been raised several notches.
With Alex Redmond suspended by the NFL for the first four games, the Bengals have several unproven options. After Williams went to training and Glenn returned to left tackle, Christian Westerman, a fourth-year substitute with two starts, received the left guard call in the mandatory minicamp. So did John Jerry, a nine-year veteran who did not connect with a team last season that he signed hours before the minicamp. Jerry made 32 starts as right guard for Bengals offensive line coach Jim Turner in 2012-13 when they were both with the Dolphins.
Also a candidate is Trey Hopkins, a fourth-year substitute who started at least one game in the three indoor positions last season. Two of its 21 starts have been left guard. Also with a longer look than he would probably have Ohio State rookie Michael Jordan, 21, the youngest player in the Bengals.
Without Boling and Williams, the Bengals have an even bigger question about reserve tackle behind Glenn and Bobby Hart on the right. Particularly backing the left side. The main option seems to be Kent Perkins, an untrained free agent from Texas in 2017 who has six snapshots of the NFL as a right tackle. Jordan is seen as a man who could eventually attack if necessary, but that is not the reason why they changed to get it in the fourth round.
Boling had one year remaining for that five-year, $ 26 million extension he signed before the 2015 season. Kelly Boling recalled that the last time they were in the corner office with Brown was four years ago when the agreement was signed. . "A (marriage) and two children later since then," is how he expressed it. On this occasion, Brown offered advice on how to deal without football and what could be next for him. Clint Boling is not entirely sure what that is.
"It's a bit exciting and anxious at the same time trying to figure out what the next move is," Boling said. "It was a good meeting (with Brown). It was good to be able to talk to him face to face when leaving. It was very encouraging. It was meaningful to talk with him one more time. "
Kelly Boling called the day "bittersweet."
"I always liked to see Clint play." It gave me the chills every time I ran out of the tunnel, "he said." But life is much bigger than football.
"It will be good to have him at home and take care of the girls. I know they are also very excited to have a home. "