Jake Locker Retires At Age 26 Rather Than Go Through NFL Free Agency

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Jake Locker decided to retire from football rather than hit free agency after four seasons with the Tennessee Titans, saying he no longer has the “burning desire” needed to keep playing the game for a living.

Locker wrote Tuesday in a statement released through his agent, Camron Hahn, that he decided to retire from the NFL at age 26 after talking with his family. Locker officially became a free agent when his contract expired Tuesday.

“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,” Locker said in the statement. “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.”

The Titans drafted Locker with the eighth pick overall out of Washington in 2011, but he was benched last October. He played behind Matt Hasselbeck in his first season, then was named the starter for 2012. But Locker missed 14 of his first 32 potential starts because of injuries, and the Titans declined to pick up his 2015 option with a new coach in Ken Whisenhunt.

Locker played in just seven games with five starts in 2014 because of separate injuries before Whisenhunt benched him for rookie Zach Mettenberger.

Locker played in 30 games in his career, starting 23, and threw for 4,967 yards and 27 touchdowns with 22 interceptions and a career 57.5 completion percentage. The mobile quarterback also averaged 6.8 yards per carry and ran for 644 yards with five TDs.

Thumbnail photo via Patric Schneider/Associated Press

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