The Atlanta Falcons lost a new addition Tuesday before he ever suited up for them.
Defensive tackle Eddie Goldman has informed the team he intends to retire, the Falcons announced.
Goldman signed with Atlanta less than two weeks ago, agreeing to join the Falcons on a one-year deal. His decision to join the Falcons came after a prolonged free agency that began with Chicago releasing the 28-year-old interior defender ahead of the start of the new league year.
After spending all seven years (six seasons due to his decision to opt out of the COVID-19-affected 2020 season) with the Bears, Goldman was set to start a new chapter in Atlanta. But with camp approaching, he chose otherwise, walking away from the game just shy of his 29th birthday.
Goldman began his career with the Bears on a strong note, joining the team as the 39th-overall pick of the 2015 draft and recording 4.5 sacks in his rookie season. In his first three years, Goldman posted 8.5 sacks, 84 tackles (10 for loss) and one fumble recovery, and the combined performance was enough to convince former Bears general manager Ryan Pace to sign Goldman to a four-year extension worth $42 million.
Goldman responded to the pay raise by posting the best season of his career, per Pro Football Focus, which gave him an overall defensive grade of 87.9. He opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 and returned to a struggle-filled campaign in 2021, appearing in 14 games but starting in just 10 of them and finishing with the worst PFF grades of his career by a significant margin.
Pace was fired following the 2021 season, and the new regime decided it was time to part with Goldman with one year remaining on his contract. He followed Pace -- now a Falcons senior personnel executive -- to Atlanta earlier this month, but decided against continuing his career with Tuesday's decision.