Jake Locker will retire

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In a crazy start to the league year, one of the most surprising stories is this: Jake Locker is retiring at the age of 26.

“I am retiring from football after much reflection and discussion with my family,” Locker said in a statement, via Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports. “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 was a disappointment as the No. 8 overall pick of the Titans in 2011, but he likely could have found some team to pay him a few million dollars in free agency: In today’s NFL, even a mediocre quarterback can make good money.

But Locker has battled numerous injuries, and apparently his heart isn’t in it anymore. And so he’s walking away.

105 responses to “Jake Locker will retire

  1. Idiotic decision … he should take the money. That would really be thinking of his family.

  2. Dang, surprised by this. I still believe he can play in the league if he can stay healthy. Maybe that’s what’s lead him here. Must be tough to work as hard as he does & then always get injured. Best of luck to ya. It didn’t work out but you were a class act.

  3. What the heck is going on today? Is it a full moon?

    Every time I hit refresh the top story gets more and more crazy?

    Jimmy Graham traded? 26 year old QB retires healthy?

    If it starts raining toads, I’m hitting the bunker.

  4. crazyyyyyyyyyyyy dayyyyyyyyy lol this is better than draft day so far for us twitter nerds

  5. Wow! Did not see that coming for at least another two years. I thought he’d get one more shot with Buffalo, Rams or the Jets

  6. Much respect to Locker for making this decision…too many guys keep holding on even when they do not have it anymore.
    He will make a good QB coach.
    Good luck Jake.

  7. Wow

    Always thought Locker has the stuff to be a stud in the NFL.

    Shame he could never stay healthy……or someone besides the Titans drafted him.

  8. Classy. People don’t realize how taxing it is. If you hate your job and you’ve been smart with your money, just retire.

    Good luck to him. Seemed like a class guy throughout.

  9. Wow, at 26. He could of hung around like clipboard Jesus for a few more years.

    Good, for him I guess.

  10. Very smart and gutsy decision for the young man. If his heart isn’t in it anymore, he’s doing exactly the right thing by walking away from the NFL. Good luck to him in the future.

  11. One of the biggest enigmas of the last decade. Supposedly had enough talent to make it – remember when he was considered a possible #1 pick overall? – but never came close.

    The good news for him is, as the 8th pick overall in the pre-new CBA era, he should still have plenty in the bank.

  12. Best of luck to Locker in his future endeavors. The guy played hard and showed signs of progression, but the injury bug never left him alone…

  13. “Idiotic decision … he should take the money. That would really be thinking of his family.”

    He’s already a millionaire. As long as he’s not an idiot with his money it will be more than you’ll see in 10 lifetimes.

  14. People will call him a quitter or whatever but the reality is if the heart isn’t there, not one fan would want him on their team. It takes a big man to walk away. Most would grab cash and float around the league holding clipboards.

  15. Good for him. Too many athletes already get paid that are injury prone & have no burning desire to compete. Glad he was honest and hung them up now.

  16. He was a great guy in the locker room and always tried to battle back from his injuries. Sad that it didn’t work out for him and the Titans. Enjoy your time with your family, you’ll have a lot now being 26 and still having a lot of time ahead of you to do other things

  17. Locker made a great move. No more risks of life changing injuries. He made millions playing a game and retires from it at 26. What a genius. Enjoy your life

  18. Gotta respect him for coming to that realization and acting on it even though he would likely be in the league for at least a few more years. Good luck to him.

  19. Good for him. Cannot rip this unless you are in his shoes and have to live with the decision. He has his reasons to retire and I’m sure it won’t be difficult for him to find another job to put food on the table for his family. Maybe he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life like a vegetable or leave a note behind. Screw all those who blast this decision, what do they know unless they’re in his shoes.

  20. This is THE CRAZIEST week I’ve ever seen since I’ve followed football.

    Between Willis and Locker retiring, the Jimmy Graham trade, the Brandon Marshall trade, Suh making BANK, Chip Kelly going MAD SCIENTIST on my Eagles (:/), and other stuff I am sure to be missing…

    Can’t keep up.

    And this is just DAY ONE of Free Agency.

    Buckle up.

  21. Jake Locker the next Brett Favre…will he come out of retirement for every season over the next 15-years?

    Yes, I just compared Jake Locker to Brett Favre! LOL.

  22. That isn’t retiring; it’s quitting. I can respect his decision to move on but let’s not try to make it seem more palatable by using the word retiring

  23. The guy must have really gotten banged around to call it quits this early.

    Something tells me with a year off, he’ll reconsider and make it back with someone in 16′. The QB position is such a crap shoot in the NFL, probably the most unpredictable position in all of sports.

    That swiss cheese of an offensive line that Tennessee has probably made this decision much easier.

  24. Outside of Newton,Dalton and Kaepernick, that was an abysmal draft for qb’s, and Kaepernick might be edging closer to Ponder than Newton nowadays.

  25. He saw the writing on the wall, Mariotta or Winston on the way. So bail out with your head up instead of going out like Willie Mays!

  26. bassplucker says:
    Mar 10, 2015 4:37 PM

    The good news for him is, as the 8th pick overall in the pre-new CBA era, he should still have plenty in the bank.
    The 2011 draft picks were not signed until late summer when the CBA was finalized. Locker made bank but not as much as he would have a year earlier.

  27. Say he squirrelled away 10 mil from that rookie deal, now he can start a tiki hut in Costa Rica and coast. Not a bad start to life

  28. Have to give major props, to a guy who isn’t just in it for the money. Obviously, must be very difficult to walk away from basically, millions of dollars. But… if his heart isn’t in it, he knows what is best for him and his family.

    An enigma of career. What could have been.

  29. Classy decision. 2nd string QB is about as cushy a job as there is in NFL. Everybody loves you and not a lot to do other than collect several million $ a year.

  30. So many players in the league are obviously just going through the motions, doing just enough to earn a paycheck and looking forward to every offseason. You really have to admire a guy who acknowledges his lack of enthusiasm and walks away. There are always opportunities to make more money; time with your family cannot be made up. Good for him, and if he was wise with his top 10 money, he’ll never need to work again.

  31. Locker’s NFL career was clearly a disappointment and whatever promise he may have had was derailed by injuries….but I’ve heard nothing but great things about him as a person, and nobody can blame his failings on a lack of maturity or effort. Locker worked hard and did everything that was asked of him to the best of his ability; he simply wasn’t a natural-born QB and his body wasn’t built for the rigors of the NFL.

    I wish Jake the best of luck as he moves on to post-NFL life.

  32. What does it take to retire, age or money? The answer is money. I respect his decision. If my heart wasn’t in something anymore, I would retire from it as well….if I had the money, which he probably does.

  33. hey genius, ponder at least will be a backup somewhere next year and won a playoff qualifying game for his team. Ironically however, a lot of people had locker going to minnesota in the draft, and then tennessee surprised everyone at #8

  34. He is an outstanding athlete and now he can still be a great athlete for decades playing in the neighborhood instead of being a richer crippled ex-athlete. I don’t blame him for cashing out now.

  35. When your best effort only gets you to average among your peer group, it’s time to do something else.

  36. Smart man. Get out while you can still walk and think. Dude has had a lot of injuries and concussions dating back to his college days as a Husky.

  37. Good for him, but being a backup NFL QB, getting paid millions while holding a clipboard is a pretty good gig. Hard to find better work.

  38. Man that’s…lame, to say the least. Guy could have stuck around several more seasons as a back up making stacks of cash. Still can’t believe this guy beat my Chiefs back in Week One.

  39. Good luck Jake. You couldn’t ask for a better guy to lead your team. I wish he could have at least played one whole year to really see what he had. Enjoy your millions.

  40. I wish this guy all of the best as he is a class act and will do well in the future. Tim Tebow is available and is more durable. Get a life NFL and sign this guy.

  41. Derek Anderson
    Matt Leinart
    Derek Anderson
    Kevin Kolb
    John Skelton
    Bryan Hoyer
    Bryan St. Pierre
    Richard Bartel
    Max Hall
    Ryan Lindley

    And now add Jake Locker to the list of QBs who were ruined or were nearly ruined by being trained and mentored by Ken Whisenhunt.

    As for Kurt Warner, he retired rather than risk further injury when Whisenhunt refused to upgrade the offensive line to protect Warner, telling Warner that QBs must take their hits. Yeah, tell that to Kevin Kolb.

    Let’s see how long the next series of Titan QBs fare next season before they are on the IR or retired lists.

  42. If I was playing in the NFL, the best job you can have is back up QB. Money, money, money, and no one throttling you on a weekly basis. I’d ride that train dry.

  43. I’m a washington husky fan (and season ticket holder) and I (and a lot of fans) were RELIEVED when he graduated. Nice kid, but couldn’t hit a barn if it was next to him, a horrible decision maker. Case in point, Keith Price replaced Jake the following year and basically re-wrote UW’s passing records with a similar supporting cast (and Keith wasn’t even drafted).

  44. Don’t worry Minnesota Vikings management are hopping on a plane to talk you out of that retirement.

    Brett Favre

  45. floratiotime says:
    Mar 10, 2015 4:33 PM
    Idiotic decision … he should take the money. That would really be thinking of his family.

    You’re ripping the guy for doing the right thing and being a responsible human being?

    Says a lot about you…

  46. Hey, there’s no doubt he will be seen as a bust. That being said, he was way over drafted by a desperate bad team, as a lot of QB’s are. In a well run draft he’s a second to third rounder.

  47. It is totally understandable that Jake Locker no longer has the desire to play football for a living. To be sure, he has not experienced the kind of success that was once projected for him, especially in the NFL. The biggest difference between his university football experience and his NFL time has been his inability to stay on the field because of injuries. You can’t stay if you can’t play. In addition, the rest of his problems as a QB in college carried over into the NFL pretty predictably.

    I totally agree with HuskyLawyer. Nice, high-character young man, but never able to live up to the hype as the
    WA 3A All-State QB who ran a wing-T in high school where he ran more often than he passed.

    Jake could always throw any pass you can name–but he could never complete it consistently. Most of his passing yards came from short throws and yards-after-the-catch.

    His main problem appeared to be his inability to process data (what he saw happening) quickly enough to make the correct decision. His low-average Wonderlic score of 20 was consistent with what was observed on the field. (Weighted avg W. score for winning SB QBs since 1992 is 29.9.) As a result, the AT&T of good passing (accuracy, touch and timing) usually eluded him, and he was usually a thrower, rarely a passer.

    Inexplicably, the Titans reached badly for him in the NFL draft at #8 when there were many GMs who voiced serious concerns about Jake as a passer and potential NFL QB. Most GMs saw him as a late-first rounder at best, and maybe even a second or third rounder.

    That nonsense about being the overall #1 after his junior year at UW in 2009 was based on one statistically and uncharacteristically great final conference schedule game in which the opposition, in reality, took the day off. In fact, the NFL advisory committee told Locker he would not be a first-round pick and he should stay at UW for his senior year, which he then did.

    While he missed the huge money Sam Bradford got as the #1 pick in 2010, Locker did collect more than most of us will ever see in our life time: $12.6 M, all guaranteed.

    He was handed the starting job with the Titans at the start of his second year, started less than half of the regular season games for three seasons, and was the very definition of mediocrity when on the field.

    As a Top Ten first-round pick, he has to be considered a bust. That is not really surprising, however, since he is joined in that dubious category by more than half (57-58%) of his first round QB contemporaries drafted since 1980.

    The final blow probably came when the Titans refused to pick up their option on him for the 2015 season. It seems doubtful that his agent’s phone was ringing off the hook over the past couple of months leading up to today.

    Time to move on with life.

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