Steelers’ Stephon Tuitt announces retirement from NFL after eight seasons

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday at the age of 29. The former Notre Dame star was selected by the Steelers in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and started in 79 of 91 career games played over eight seasons.

Tuitt made his retirement official with a statement posted from the Steelers’ Twitter account.

“With respect to the Steelers organization, my teammates, and coaches I would like to officially announce that I have come to the decision to retire from the NFL. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to represent the city of Pittsburgh for the past eight seasons, and am blessed to leave this game with my health.After the tragic loss of my brother Richard, and upon completing my degree from the University of Notre Dame, I know I am being called to move beyond the sport of football. to thank everyone for the love and support they have shown both on and off the field, and again want to thank The Rooney Family, Coach Tomlin, and the entire Pittsburgh organization.It was an honor and a privilege to play for this historic team. Go Steelers. “

After starting just four games in his rookie season, Tuitt evolved into one of the best defensive linemen in the league. Unfortunately, he did not play a single game in 2021 due to the tragic passing of his brother after a hit-and-run accident. He spent much of the offseason away from the team, and then suffered an injury before the season which landed him on injured reserve. It was thought the veteran could return at the end of the season, but even with Pittsburgh making the playoffs, Tuitt did not return. Without him, the Steelers statistically had the worst run defense in the NFL.

Tuitt had arguably his best season in 2020 at 27-years-old, recording 45 combined tackles, a career-high 11 sacks and 25 QB hits. The Steelers had hoped he would return to the fold for 2022, which is something fellow defensive lineman Cameron Heyward echoed this offseason. But now this talented defense will have to prepare for life without a longtime starter.

The Steelers drafted a 6-foot-4 defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal out of Texas A&M in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft, and since he’s a bit of a tweener, the Steelers could use him in different kinds of packages. Pittsburgh also has Chris Wormley, who could be the new starter on the line. Either way, the loss of Tuitt is a big one, as he has chosen to turn his attention to life after football. Tuitt recorded 246 combined tackles, 34.5 sacks and six forced fumbles during his career.

“I want to thank Stephon for all he did for the Steelers during his eight-year career in Pittsburgh,” Steelers general manager Omar Khan said in a statement. “His success both on and off the field speaks volumes for who he is as a person and a player. Stephon has always handled himself with class and maturity as he continues to be a great husband, father, son and family man in his personal life Now that he has informed us he is retiring from football, we are all thrilled to see what he is becoming as a person and professional after graduating from Notre Dame this past month. We are excited for what lies ahead in his life and will continue to support him in any way we can. “

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