Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt announced his retirement on Wednesday after eight seasons.
Tuitt announced the news in a statement shared by the Steelers on Twitter. He cited his recent graduation from the University of Notre Dame and the loss of his brother last year.
“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,” Tuitt wrote.
“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,” he continued. “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.”
Tuitt’s status with the Steelers has been a mystery since the 2021 offseason. His brother was killed in a hit-and-run crash in June 2021, and Tuitt took time away from football to grieve. He also underwent knee surgery early in the 2021 season, and he did not play at all during the 2021 season.
Still, the Steelers were confident Tuitt would return for the 2022 season.
“We’ve been in contact with Stephon, and we’re very open to continuing to help him, and we will continue to evaluate that position and his availability to us,” former general manager Kevin Colbert said earlier this year. “We just hope for the best for him as he tries to come back and be a part of the Pittsburgh Steelers.”
The Steelers drafted Tuitt in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame. He was a regular starter for six out of eight seasons, playing in 91 games and starting in 79.
Tuitt finishes his career with 34.5 sacks and 246 tackles. His most successful season came in 2020, when he recorded a career-high 11 sacks and 10 tackles for loss.
“I want to thank Stephon for all he did for the Steelers during his eight-year career in Pittsburgh,” Pittsburgh general manager Omar Khan said. “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 life in his personal life.”