Journeyman wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr., who was also an exceptional kickoff and punt return man thanks to his elite speed, announced Friday that he’s retiring from the NFL after 14 seasons.
“I’ve dedicated my entire life to football until now,” Ginn said, per Cleveland.com’s Stephen Means. “I’m going out in peace…On my own terms, not forced out.”
Even though many would argue Ginn didn’t live up to the hype as the Miami Dolphins’ ninth overall pick in 2007 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, it’s a testament to his love of the game and perseverance that the 36-year-old stuck around pro football for as long as he did.
Ginn’s incredible sprinting ability also helped extend his playing days on the gridiron, as even his “losing a step” still meant he was among the NFL’s fastest playmakers.
Despite not developing into a No. 1-caliber receiver per say, Ginn wasn’t exactly positioned for success in Miami, who’s hoping Tua Tagovailoa can snap the Dolphins out of their inability to find a viable quarterback since Dan Marino’s heyday.
The most notable highlights of Ginn’s career came on the San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints. He played in the Bay Area from 2010 through 2012, and in those last two seasons, he was a key contributor to helping the 49ers turn their franchise around under head coach Jim Harbaugh.
A one-year stint in Carolina ensued, but after an underwhelming 2014 campaign with Arizona, Ginn returned to the Panthers for 2015’s magical 15-1 season, as QB Cam Newton won NFL MVP honors and Ginn hauled in 10 TD catches. That Carolina team made it all the way to Super Bowl 50.
That began the first of three straight years when Ginn exceeded 700 yards receiving each season, with the last of those coming on the New Orleans Saints playing alongside Drew Brees. Turns out, having a capable thrower helped Ginn shine more in the passing game.
Two more seasons with the Saints followed before Ginn wrapped up his career in a six-game stint with the Chicago Bears in 2020.
A dynamic threat in the open field and exceptional deep threat, Ginn deserves to be celebrated for what he did, rather than be defined by the rocky start he had in Miami.
Because of all the success Ginn found once he left the Dolphins, it’s pretty safe to say he’s shed the draft-bust label that followed him early on.