It’s not uncommon to hear about NFL players retiring when they’re 34, but you don’t hear about too many players deciding to retire when they’re 24. That’s the case for Washington Commanders receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden, who announced his retirement on Thursday.

The news was first announced by Commanders coach Ron Rivera, who told reporters at his press conference.

The Commanders then made an official announcement on their social media channels.

The 24-year-old reportedly plans to return to school and earn his degree in graphic design.

Washington selected Gandy-Golden in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft out of Liberty. In college, he led the Big South in receptions and receiving yards as a sophomore, becoming Liberty’s seventh 1,000-yard receiver in program history. As a junior, he broke the school record for receiving yards in a game (245), finishing his career as the only player in school history to post three connective thousand-yard receiving seasons.

However, in the two years that followed in the NFL, he never quite put it together on the field, garnering just one reception for three yards in 10 games played. A hamstring injury in his rookie season landed him on injured reserve in October of 2020 and he never quite got going after that, moving between the practice squad and active roster. While he was working on switching from wide receiver to tight end this offseason, it looks like that wasn’t enough to keep his NFL dreams going.

The news of the surprise retirement certainly garnered some reactions from the NFL world.

[Ian Rapoport]

About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.