Veteran linebacker Kiko Alonso has not played in the NFL since 2019 but ultimately decided that he wanted another shot in the NFL, signing with the New Orleans Saints on Friday. Unfortunately for New Orleans, his stay with the organization didn’t last long, and it appears that his time in the NFL is done for good.
Reports have emerged that Alonso retired from the NFL on Saturday morning after taking part in just one practice for the Saints.
Kiko Alonso has retired, per source.
— Brooke Kirchhofer (@brookechesney) August 6, 2022
Alonso will be 32 later in August.
His most recent NFL action came with the Saints. But during this stint with the team, he apparently realized that his desire to play football wasn’t there anymore.
According to Saints reporter Katherine Terrell, his abrupt retirement was not due to injury, and the veteran linebacker just had a change of heart when it came to his football career.
I'm told Alonso's retirement wasn't anything medical. He honestly just changed his mind. Football is a huge commitment and it's hard to do without being 100 percent in, especially after being away so long. Same thing with Patrick Robinson last year when he realized he was done.
— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) August 6, 2022
Many are crediting Alonso for his decision, realizing it is better for him to be honest with himself and call it quits instead of going through the motions without his heart in the game.
The legend of Kiko was fun for the relatively short time it lasted https://t.co/E8noXy3fid
— Howard WGR (@hsimon62) August 6, 2022
— Antwan V. Staley (@antwanstaley) August 6, 2022
That was fast. But credit to Alonso for a quick decision. https://t.co/BROt1m6yWG
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 6, 2022
Reports that Kiko Alonso has retired. Here’s to the memories. https://t.co/w1U4DhDTKW
— Prescott Rossi (@PrescottRossi) August 6, 2022
It has been a wild ride for Alonso throughout his NFL career. He came into the league hot after being drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. In his rookie season, Alonso recorded four interceptions and 159 tackles.
Both of those totals ended up being career highs. Alonso missed all of the 2014 season with a torn ACL. Before the 2015 season, he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles, where he played for one year before getting traded to the Miami Dolphins. Following the 2018 season, Alonso was traded to the Saints, where he played the 2019 season. Alonso traded again in 2020, from New Orleans to the San Francisco 49ers but was never activated.
New Orleans will now need to look elsewhere for some linebacker depth, which seems to be something that the team desperately needs ahead of the 2022-23 NFL season.