Former UNC football standout James Hurst announces retirement from NFL

This former Tar Heel officially has called it a career, as he announced his retirement on social media.
New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams
New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams / Ric Tapia/GettyImages

After playing 10 seasons in the NFL, former UNC football standout James Hurst has announced his retirement.

Hurst spend his college career at North Carolina, as he was a three-time All-ACC selection (twice on first team, once on second team) during his four seasons with the program. Even though he has a strong career as a Tar Heel, Hurst went undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft, but proved that he, in fact, belonged in the league.

The former Tar Heel signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent, as he worked his way into a starters role for the 2017 season. He was mostly a reserve as a member of the Ravens, but did gain his fair share of opportunities to start.

He went on to sign with the New Orleans Saints and became a key contributor, as he was a full-time starter in each of the last three seasons. Now, at the age of 32, Hurst has decided that it's time to hang up his cleats and retire from the sport he's played for his entire life.

Heading into the NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints were one of many teams in need of offensive line help. Now with Hurst's retirement, that need is even bigger, as there's an additional hole the Saints must fill before the start of the 2024 season.

Ask any front office executive in the NFL, and they'll tell you how difficult that is to do.

Hurst put together a very solid career, especially given that he didn't hear his name called during the 2014 NFL Draft. He worked tremendously hard to get to where he is today, as he ended up being a very productive professional over the span of the last decade.