Frederick, one of the best centers since entering the league in 2013, missed the entire 2018 season with Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
“I started a journey almost two years ago that completely blindsided me,” Frederick wrote in his statement. “When I developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome, I did not know how to handle things. I was scared. That experience forced me to reevaluate my life priorities. I spent much of that year thinking about the past and future. I realized how fortunate I was to play a game for a living. I realized how fortunate I was to make friends and become teammates with some men. Most of all, I realized the importance of my family and how much I want to be there for their peaks and valleys as they were for me.”
Frederick returned to the field in 2019, starting all 16 games and being named to the Pro Bowl for a fifth time in his career. But he felt he wasn’t at his best.
“Each day I faced a struggle: I could no longer perform at my highest level,” Frederick wrote. “Playing ‘well’ is not what I expect of myself and is not what my teammates deserve. Because of this, I know my days as a football player are done. I am proud of what I have accomplished in my career, and I walk away with my head held high.”
Frederick started 30 games during his career at Wisconsin before being a first-round pick of the Cowboys in 2013.