Give credit to Haloti Ngata for finding a unique way to say goodbye.
One of the greatest defensive players in Ravens history and a mountain of a man, Ngata announced his retirement after 13 seasons with an Instagram post while standing on top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. Smiling with pride, Ngata held a banner that read, “I’m retiring from the NFL on top.”
Ngata’s personality was part of what made him so revered by his teammates and loved by fans. But his stellar play as one of the NFL’s most dominant defensive tackles is what made him so valuable to the Ravens.
In his nine seasons with Baltimore (2006-2014), Ngata made the Pro Bowl five times, he was twice an All-Pro, and he was a key member of the Ravens team that won Super Bowl XLVII.
Ngata had phenomenal athletic ability, particularly for a man his size (6-foot-4, 340 pounds). During his prime, Ngata was a disruptive defensive force – too strong and too quick for one man to block. His ability to occupy two blockers often gave Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis the freedom to pursue ball-carriers without being blocked.
Ngata was a first-round draft pick by the Ravens (12th overall), and during his nine seasons in Baltimore, the Ravens’ finished among the top five in run defense seven times.
In 167 regular season games, Ngata finished with 498 tackles, 29 ½ sacks, six forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and five interceptions. During his rookie season, Ngata introduced himself to the Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers rivalry by intercepting Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and running 60 yards with the return.
The Ravens traded Ngata to the Detroit Lions in 2015, in exchange for a fourth-round pick they used to select pass rusher Za’Darius Smith. After three seasons with the Lions, the 35-year-old Ngata signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018, and started nine games last season.