One of the most gracious and kind-hearted members of the Kansas City Chiefs over the past three seasons, veteran defensive lineman Mike DeVito, announced on Monday morning via Twitter and an article he wrote for the "The Drive," that he was hanging up his cleats after nine years in the NFL.
DeVito addressed his retirement in a wonderfully written piece about his football journey that began when he was only 5 years old. DeVito mentions those who have helped him along the way, including Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson. DeVito opens up in a way in which anyone who has spent time around him understands is completely genuine, heartfelt and honest.
Here's an excerpt from his article:
"I want to thank the New York Jets, the Kansas City Chiefs and all the amazing people I have met throughout my career. To all my family, friends, and fans, thank you for making an average player feel like a Hall of Famer. And to the game of football, thank you for the past 18 years, all the memories, and the lessons that will continue to serve me for the rest of my life."
DeVito, who spent the past three seasons with the Chiefs after spending the first six years of his career with the New York Jets, accumulated 250 career tackles and 5.5 sacks throughout his career.
He originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Maine in 2007.
A look at photos from Mike DeVito's time in Kansas City.
A player known throughout his career as a run-stuffing, physical rock in the trenches of a defense, DeVito had a rare calmness and graciousness away from the field.
His grace was never more evident than how he and Johnson battled their way back from ruptured Achilles injuries suffered in Week 1 of the 2014 season against the Tennessee Titans. They were both placed on injured reserve and missed the rest of the season.
DeVito often said that without Johnson, he might have not been able to go through the rehabilitation and actually retired before last season.
They both returned in 2015 to help the Chiefs pull off the greatest in-season turnaround in franchise history and pick up their first playoff win in more than two decades.
"As hard as it is to say goodbye to the game that has made me the man I am, I cannot wait for the second half of this journey through life, loving Jessie (wife) more and more every day and watching my son Rocco start a journey of his own," DeVito wrote.
Find DeVito's whole article by following this link.