Grown Up and Slimmed-Down, Miami Dolphins’ Mike Pouncey Finally Gets the Send-Off He Deserves

A matured Mike Pouncey weighed in on his complex legacy with the Miami Dolphins during a ceremony to announce his retirement.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Mike Pouncey may have lost a bunch of weight since his playing career ended, but not his quick wit. The four-time Pro Bowl center — down 70 pounds from his playing weight — was back at Miami Dolphins HQ Thursday to sign a one-day contract to retire with the team that drafted him.

Mike Pouncey Retires With Miami Dolphins

The mood was far lighter than the last time his name was part of the team’s transaction report — 2018, when the organization unceremoniously released him in a cost-cutting move. Pouncey wasn’t at all thrilled then with how things went down. He signed with the Chargers that offseason and finished his career with L.A. in 2020.

But six years after that divorce — with his star twin brother Maurkice in attendance for his official retirement announcement — there was reconciliation. And Pouncey, on Thursday, seemed to acknowledge the role his behavior played in his complex legacy as a player here.

“S—, if I thought how I thought now, I’d still be with the Dolphins,” Pouncey deadpanned. “That’s part of just growth, man.

“I swear I look back at it, I’m like, ‘Dang man, if I was just a little bit more mature when I was playing,'” Pouncey continued. “But that’s part of what makes you a good player, that edge that you bring. I have no regret over what I did here, and I’m very proud of my career that I had here. Obviously, now just trying to be looked at in a different light, in the business world.”

Pouncey’s post-football career is nearly as impressive as his time in the NFL was. The Pouncey Brothers together own a liqueur distillery in South Florida — called, fittingly, Tropical Distillers. They also have extensive real estate holdings in Ohio and even own a hotel together.

It’s a true success story — and a model for how players should save, manage, and use their money.

Pouncey should be applauded for his second act, and it presumably was a factor in the Dolphins re-embracing one of their most successful draft picks of the last two decades.

Pouncey and his brother — the excellent, longtime center for the Steelers — have done basically everything together since they entered the world just minutes apart nearly 34 years ago. That includes shedding big-time weight since their playing days ended.

Maurkice was the most accomplished player. But was he the better of the two?

“I always looked up to Mike,” Maurkice said. “Mike was a better player in my eyes. And he used to always joke around. I think Mike’s path was a lot harder than mine.

“I played with Big Ben [Roethlisberger], I had, you know, Antonio Brown, you know, Le’Veon [Bell] and all the great players. So I think that for him to have the success he had and the way he’s viewed here, it meant a lot more to the family.

“… Mike was a hell of a player,” Maurkice added. “He had a lot more respect down here from the organization, the players, and it still shows to the day, how we carry our business when we go around places. He made that legacy possible for us.”

Mike Pouncey’s Complex Legacy

That legacy includes great work in the community, both during and after their careers.

But it also includes a number of embarrassing moments when they were in their early 20s, including nightclub altercations, support for accused (and ultimately convicted) murderer Aaron Hernandez and — for Mike — the role he played in the Dolphins’ bullying scandal.

The Dolphins were the subject of an external investigation a decade ago that revealed Pouncey and teammates Richie Incognito and John Jerry engaged in “a pattern of harassment” directed at Jonathan Martin, as well as another young offensive lineman and an assistant athletic trainer.

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When asked about his legacy Thursday, Pouncey replied:

“I just want to be remembered as Nat [Moore, who heads up the organization’s alumni relations effort] announced it: As a guy who gave everything, who was a leader was respected and loved by his teammates and community. And outside of that, I mean the rest of it is on tape just cut the tape on it, and it’ll show you who you are as a football player.”

It took a few years, but the Dolphins on Thursday gave Pouncey the send-off he deserved.

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