Former Buccaneers defensive end Robert Ayers hangs up cleats

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 11: Kwon Alexander
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 11: Kwon Alexander /

After nine seasons with three different teams including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Robert Ayers Jr. has decided to retire from the NFL.

Earlier today, defensive end Robert Ayers Jr. announced on social media that he was retiring from the NFL after nine seasons in the NFL with the Denver Broncos, New York Giants, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is a former first round pick of the Broncos back in 2009, and while he never lived up to the hype he made a successful career as a plug-and-play starter and rotational player.

Ayers finishes his NFL career with 34.5 sacks, 195 solo tackles, 51 tackles for loss, and 108 hits on opposing quarterbacks; he also forced nine fumbles and scored one defensive touchdown throughout his career. He was out of the league last year, but prior to that he spent two years in Tampa Bay from 2016-2017 when he signed a two-year deal worth $13.5 million.

During his stint with the Buccaneers, Ayers managed to compile 20 starts while wearing the pewter and red. In those appearances he recorded 8.5 sacks, 6.5 of which came in 2016, and 10 tackles for loss. Ayers also managed to force three fumbles, and got to the quarterback 35 times while wearing a Buccaneers uniform.

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The Buccaneers decided not to re-sign Ayers after his contract expired and they made a trade for Jason Pierre-Paul to take his place. While Ayers will not go down as one of the greatest to ever play the game or as a Buccaneers’ great, he managed to put together a productive time in Tampa Bay and a productive career.