The San Diego Chargers have announced that Nick Hardwick, an 11-year veteran of the NFL, will announce his retirement at a press conference on February 3, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. P.T.
Hardwick was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2004 NFL Draft out of Purdue. He was part of the same draft class that netted the Chargers Philip Rivers. Hardwick started 136 games with 108 of those snapping to Rivers.
Hardwick made his first and only Pro Bowl in 2006 when the team went 14-2, but he was widely considered one of the better centers in football for most of his career. Chargers fans really came to appreciate his contributions this season after he was put on Injured Reserve after suffering a neck injury.
This announcement is a surprise to nobody that has been paying attention. Hardwick reportedly shed over 100 pounds since going on IR in September and his impending retirement has been an open secret. He will be difficult to replace as the team aptly demonstrated all season. He has been missed on the field, but he has been an excellent addition to local sports talk radio. Hopefully he'll have continued success in that field if he so chooses.