Max Unger last suited up for an NFL game on Jan. 20, 2019. He was listed on the New Orleans Saints’ roster that season at 305 pounds.
Unger decided to retire two months later, just one month shy of his 33rd birthday, after 10 seasons in the NFL, citing injuries as the biggest reason at the time.
And for 10 years, his weight hovered right around the 305 mark, which is what he weighed in at the 2009 NFL combine.
Now look at him:
Former Saints pro bowl center Max Unger is meeting the NOLA media right now.— Fletcher Mackel (@FletcherWDSU) July 20, 2020
Says since he retired from the NFL after the NFC Championship game he’s lost 60 pounds in an effort to get in great shape.
Hear from Max tonight on @wdsu at 6pm and 10pm. pic.twitter.com/ktBgbDB0NF
Unger spoke with New Orleans media Monday on a teleconference, talking about his post-football adjustment and his desire to achieve a more realistic and healthy weight. He now is around 240 pounds, looking leaner than imaginable.
For a reminder, here’s Unger in his final NFL season:
Be honest: If you’re a Saints fan, and you walk past this dude on Canal Street ... are you even able to recognize him? Unger looks more like a tight ends coach here than he does a former All-Pro center.
He’s just the latest in a long line of retired NFL offensive linemen who look like shells of themselves — we mean that in a good way! — after shedding the essential bulk it takes to thrive in the trenches.
Former Cleveland Browns Joe Thomas dropped 50 pounds and looked completely different. Same with Baltimore Ravens star Marshal Yanda, who dropped even more weight than Thomas after cutting his daily intake from 6,000 calories to a paltry 2,200.
Other remarkable examples from recent years include ex-Charger Nick Hardwick, who lost more than 80 pounds; ex-Patriot Sebastian Vollmer, who shed 75; former Panthers tackle Jordan Gross, who was 70-ish pounds under his playing weight; and ex-Colt Jeff Saturday, who dropped more than 50 himself.
You could build one of the best historical offensive lines in recent history with these guys, even though they now reside more in the dad-bod spectrum.
We don’t yet know Unger’s weight-loss secret, other than not playing and eating like a horse. But our hats are off for his incredible 18-month transformation.
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