CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Carolina Panthers defensive end Wes Horton is retiring from the NFL. He made the announcement in an Instagram post on Tuesday.
“I’ve made this decision off two reasons. The first is my overall health. The little injuries I’ve accumulated over the years have finally caught up to me and when weighing the risk, I’d rather preserve what’s left of my body. Second reason being the conviction Christ has put on my heart to help teach and mentor the next generation. All my life has been about me and what I needed to do to find personal success. I believe I found that success as a undrafted rookie playing 7 seasons and at one point being tied for the most sack fumbles in the NFL,” part of the post read.
Horton was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Panthers in 2013. He played six seasons with Carolina before signing with New Orleans last offseason, then finishing the 2019 season with the Panthers.
He finished his career with 15.5 sacks, including a career-best 5.5 sacks in 2017. Horton was active in the Charlotte community working as a mentor with The Academy of Goal Achievers (T.A.G.A.), an organization dedicated to developing youth leaders to impact their communities.
Horton dedicated the 2018 season to his late friend Noah Hays, a 19-year-old who died from Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare bone and tissue cancer. The two had developed a special friendship after they met on a Panthers team visit to the Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte in 2015.