Cravens, a second-round draft pick in 2016, started three games a year ago and was considered one of the team's most promising young players.
Cravens, in the group message, praised each of his teammates for their skills and expressed gratitude for them and their role in his life. He didn't practice Sunday morning. But he said he was retiring on Sunday and ended the text message with, "Peace out".
Cravens sent shockwaves through the National Football League on Sunday, as he became the latest young player to contemplate retirement rather than returning to the gridiron.
Cravens, the expected starter at strong safety, has been out since August 15 following knee surgery to fix a torn meniscus. According to Mike Jones of the Washington Post, the team will place Cravens on the exempt list, and that he will be out for at least a month.
"It's shocking, but it is what it is", safety D.J. Swearinger said.
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Cravens wasn't at Redskins practice this morning. He may be wondering if it's all worth it and has said multiple times football doesn't define him. Gruden was originally supposed to speak with reporters, but that news conference was canceled and moved until Tuesday.
One person who played with Cravens in the past and considers him a friend said he was not surprised when he heard the news Sunday. Cravens returned to action in Week 7. ESPN reported that Cravens informed a handful of teammates the prior day that he meant to notify the team of his retirement. If the ultra-talented Cravens does indeed retire, it would be a major blow for the Redskins.
Cravens is listed on the Washington depth chart as the starter at strong safety.
Redskins officials, when forming the 53-man roster on Saturday, went with five safeties (Cravens, Swearinger, Deshazor Everett, rookie Montae Nicholson and first-year pro Stefan McClure).
Cravens hasn't spoken to the media in weeks while dealing with his recovery from surgery, so it is also reasonable to assume that fans were surprised by today's initial report. The 6-foot, 195-pound Texas A&M product previous year converted from cornerback to safety.