Newaygo’s Berger Retires from NFL

Newaygo native and 13-year veteran offensive lineman Joe Berger announced his retirement from the NFL on Friday.

A sixth-round draft pick by the Carolina Panthers in 2005 out of Michigan Tech, Berger, 35, starred on Newaygo’s varsity team and went on to play in 145 career NFL games, starting in 84, including 18 for the Minnesota Vikings in 2017.

NFL veteran and Newaygo native Joe Berger returned to Newaygo to host a youth football camp on June 28, 2017. 

Berger spent his for first seven seasons splitting time between the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys before settling in with the Vikings in 2011.

“After a lot of careful thought and prayer I have decided to retire from football,” Berger said in a statement. “I have been fortunate to enjoy 13 seasons and have had the opportunity to play with so many good players and coaches. I was on some great teams before the Vikings, but it wasn’t until I got to Minnesota that I really felt at home.

“For seven years I was able to play for a great organization and in front of the best fans. U.S. Bank Stadium is an incredible place to play football. My family and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity I was given. I will miss my teammates and the game but am looking forward to this next chapter. So many people have had a part in my career and I hope some day I’ll be able to personally thank each one of them.”