Former NFL first-round pick Billy Price announces retirement at 29 after pulmonary embolism

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 06: Billy Price #53 of the Arizona Cardinals prepares for a game against the Seattle Seahawks at State Farm Stadium on November 06, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Billy Price was a champion and All-American at Ohio State. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Billy Price, a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, announced his retirement Saturday, revealing that he had suffered a pulmonary embolism in April.

The 29-year-old said he underwent emergency surgery to remove a saddle clot that was entering both his lungs. Despite the surgery, he said he had to retire due to his blood thinners creating a “tremendous” risk of internal bleeding.

The caption on Price’s Instagram post:

“In the blink of an eye, everything can be taken away. On April 24th I had emergency pulmonary embolism surgery to remove a saddle clot that was entering both of my lungs. As a healthy 29 year old, an unprovoked pulmonary embolism with no further medical explanation is terrifying. I am truly thankful to be alive today. Unfortunately, I will be retiring from the NFL as the risk of an internal bleed while on blood thinners creates tremendous risk.

“I am truly thankful for the opportunity to have played in some of the greatest atmospheres around the world. I am thankful to have trained and played alongside men who will continue to make Pro Bowls, All Pro Rosters and Hall of Fame recognitions.

“To my wife: this career would not have been possible without your continued love and support. The sacrifices you have made over the course of my career do not go unnoticed. I cannot wait to navigate the next chapter in life with you as we continue to grow our family.”

Price was a four-year starter at Ohio State, winning a national championship in 2014. He played offensive guard before moving to center for his senior season, where he earned unanimous All-America honors and won the Rimington Trophy for the nation’s best center in 2017.

That performance led to Price becoming the rare center to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, going 21st overall in 2018 to the nearby Cincinnati Bengals. He proceeded to play five seasons with the Bengals, New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals, as well as practice stints with the Las Vegas Raiders, New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys.

Price spent most of last season on the Cowboys’ practice squad after being released by the Saints the previous offseason.