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Play football in Washington, or go back to school?
NFL tight end Antonio Gandy-Golden made his decision, and it’s time to crack open the books. Announced Thursday, Gandy-Golden is officially retiring from the NFL at the age of 24 and will reportedly head back to school as his first post-retirement move.
Washington Commanders coach Ron Rivera gave his insight on the decision and deemed it a surprising move based on the player’s ascending role.
“I was a little surprised just because I thought he was doing a good job in our offense, and was making some good strides,” Rivera commented on Thursday, as relayed by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
“I love who he is as a man and I wish him all the best as he goes back and starts what’s next.”
Gandy-Golden had recently made a position switch from wide receiver to tight end and bulked up his frame at 6-foot-4 to suit the change. The fourth-round pick out of Liberty, selected in 2020, previously studied graphic design.
“He just felt the time was now,” Rivera added. “He told me he wanted to go back to school and continue his education and then go from there.”
Projected starting tight end Logan Thomas began training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list, and backup TE John Bates was slotted as the only player ahead of Gandy-Golden on the depth chart.
“He’s a heck of a young man. He really did do a nice job for us,” Rivera said. “We appreciate who he is and who he was for us as a football player and a young man. Because he’s a bright young man, I really do believe he has a bright future ahead of him.”