Athletes Who Retired In 2021

List Rules
Vote up the best athletes who announced their retirement in 2021.

Which are the best of the athletes who decided to retire in 2021? This list ranks the best athletes who announced their retirement in 2021. While some athletes planned on retiring in 2021, a few unfortunate ones had to retire due to injury or other personal matters. In many cases, there are famous players who have decided to move on and explore other avenues in life. Other times, recently retired athletes feel that they have made the most out of their careers and want to go out at the top of their game.

Sports stars who retired in 2021 include NFL QB Drew Brees and MLB second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Check this list throughout the year for recent 2021 athlete retirements and vote up the athletes you were most sorry to see call it quits in 2021.

Ranked by
  • Drew Brees
    1
    New Orleans Saints (2006-2020), San Diego Chargers (2001-2005)
    64 votes
    • Position: Quarterback

    Announced retirement on March 14, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    Super Bowl champion (XLIV)
    Super Bowl MVP (XLIV)
    2× NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2008, 2011)
    First-team All-Pro (2006)
    4× Second-team All-Pro (2008, 2009, 2011, 2018)
    13× Pro Bowl (2004, 2006, 2008–2014, 2016–2019)
    7× NFL passing yards leader (2006, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014–2016)
    4× NFL passing touchdowns leader (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012)
    2× NFL passer rating leader (2009, 2018)
    6× NFL completion percentage leader (2009–2011, 2017–2019)

    NFL Records:
    Most career passing yards
    Most career pass completions
    Highest single-season completion percentage (74.4%)
    Most consecutive games with a touchdown pass
    Most pass completions in a season
    Most 5,000 passing yard seasons
    Highest completion percentage in a game (96.7%)
    Most touchdown passes in a game (tied)
    First player to reach 80,000 career passing yards (286 games)

  • Mike Iupati
    2
    San Francisco 49ers (2010-2014), Seattle Seahawks (2015-2018), Arizona Cardinals (2019-2020)
    26 votes
    • Position: Guard

    Announced retirement on February 22, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    4× Pro Bowl (2012–2015)
    First-team All-Pro (2012)
    Second-team All-Pro (2015)
    PFW All-Rookie Team (2010)

  • Adam Vinatieri
    3
    Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots
    28 votes
    • Position: Placekicker

    Announced retirement on May 26, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    4× Super Bowl champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLI)
    3× Pro Bowl (2002, 2004, 2014)
    3× First-team All-Pro (2002, 2004, 2014)
    NFL's all-time leading scorer (2,673 points)
    Most consecutive field goals made (44)
    Most combined regular season and postseason games played (397)
    Most career field goals made (599)
    Most career field goals attempted (715)

  • Julian Edelman
    4
    New England Patriots (2009-2020)
    44 votes
    • Position: Wide receiver

    Announced retirement on April 12, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    3× Super Bowl champion (XLIX, LI, LIII)
    Super Bowl MVP (LIII)
    New England Patriots 2010s All-Decade Team
    Super Bowl Record - Most Receptions in a 1st Half (7)
    Super Bowl Record - Most Career Punt Returns (8)