The NFL world suffered another heartbreaking loss to its family on Friday. The Philadelphia Eagles announced that legendary tight end Pete Retzlaff passed away at the age of 88.
Retzlaff, drafted in the 22nd round of the 1953 NFL Draft, spent his entire career with the Eagles. From 1956-’66, Retzlaff was named a five-time Pro Bowl selection and received first-team All-Pro honors in 1965. After never catching a pass in his collegiate career, he ended his NFL career with 452 receptions, 7412 receiving yards and 47 touchdowns.
“We are saddened to learn of the passing of Eagles Hall of Famer Pete Retzlaff. Pete was a revolutionary tight end and one of the most productive players in the history of our franchise,” Eagles CEO Jeffrey Lurie said, via press release. “…But Pete’s legacy goes far beyond the success he was able to achieve on the field. He gave so much to this organization and to our sport as a player, general manager, broadcaster, and leader of the NFLPA.”
Retzlaff won an NFL championship with the Eagles in 1960. Following his incredible career, the team retired his No. 44 jersey and he was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame. He would go on to serve as the Eagles’ vice president and general manager from 1969-’72 before becoming an analyst for CBS. He also played an integral role in the founding of the NFL Players’ Association.
Our thoughts go out to Retzlaff’s family, the Eagles’ organization, his friends and the entire football world during this difficult time.