D'Brickashaw Ferguson becomes latest National Football League player to retire early

The former fourth overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft was a huge piece for the Jets offensive line, and had played in 10,707 of the Jets' 10,708 offensive snaps since being drafted.

He was a 3-time Pro Bowl selection during his career and one of the true iron men in the trenches and "Bricks" will surely be missed by his teammates and by the league as a whole.

Ferguson is a cerebral player that is as durable as anyone that has ever played in the league (he missed one snap in his entire career). The Jets had reportedly approached D'Brickashaw Ferguson asking him to take a pay cut and instead of agreeing to or refusing to Ferguson chose to go ahead and retire. His retirement is expected to clear more than $9 million in cap room for the Jets. According to OverTheCap.com, the Jets now have just $20,547 in cap space, the smallest amount of all 30 teams. The Bears have enough cap space to play Ferguson who is paid at a clip of $10 million per year, but with two years left on his contract, none of the money is guaranteed.

The New York Jets will have one more position to address in the NFL Draft. Clady carries a $10.6 million cap it, and he'd need to restructure his deal in any trade. Beatty was the Giants starting left tackle and was a pretty solid player who started 47 of 48 games, appearing in all 48, from 2012-2014. Down 24-17 with seven seconds left and the ball at their own 7-yard line, the Jets chose to take their offensive line off the field for a desperation, multiple-lateral play.

By now, the news has well made its rounds around the world that Jets left tackle D'Brickishaw Ferguson is planning on retiring. The 32-year-old also has expressed concern about his long-term health. Among the offensive lineman projected to be available at that stage of the first round are Ohio State's Taylor Decker, Michigan State's Jack Conklin, Indiana's Jason Spriggs and Texas A&M's Germain Ifedi.

Despite the query, no formal negotiations have occurred, according to sources, and Ferguson's status has no bearing on the Jets' offer to Fitzpatrick.

Vanessa Coleman