On a day when lots of NFL household names went from one team to another, Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker simply walked out the door.
Locker, the No. 8 pick in the 2011 draft, announced he’s retiring from the NFL at 26. His contract expired with the Titans on Tuesday, and it was clear the franchise had moved on.
“I am retiring from football after much reflection and discussion with my family,” he said in a written statement released to the media. “I will always be grateful for having had the opportunity to realize my childhood dream of playing in the NFL and for the lifelong relationships I developed because of that experience. Football has always played a pivotal role in my life and I love the game, but I no longer have the burning desire necessary to play the game for a living; to continue to do so would be unfair to the next organization with whom I would eventually sign. I realize this decision is surprising to many, but I know in my heart that it is the right decision and I look forward to spending more time with my family and pursuing other interests."
Locker, a former University of Washington standout, battled multiple injuries during his NFL career.
He threw 27 touchdowns with 22 interceptions in four years, starting a total of 23 games – 11 of those coming in 2012.