David Thornton, who missed all of last season due to injury, formally announced his retirement Friday morning.
In a statement, the veteran linebacker said, “My love and passion for the game will never waiver, but I am confident this is the right decision for me at this time.”
Thornton spent nine seasons in the league, the first four with the Indianapolis Colts and the final five with the Tennessee Titans. He joined the Titans as a free agent in 2006 and led the team in tackles in 2007.
He played a total of 121 games with 102 starts in his career.
As active off the field as he was on it, he earned three Walter Payton Man of the Year nominations (two with Indianapolis) for his charitable efforts. He also was Tennessee’s 2007 Ed Block Courage Award winner, which goes annually to one player on each team who best exemplifies the principles of sportsmanship and courage.
“I am extremely humbled and thankful for all that I have experienced in my career,” Thornton said in his statement. “Football has given me a platform to share my faith and reach individuals on a personal level. I truly have no regrets and I am excited about where God leads me in the next chapter of my life.
“… Thank you to everyone from the fans to the media; charities and companies than I have partnered with throughout my career; my hometown of Goldsboro, North Carolina, and all of the people I have come in contact with throughout my journey that make football the greatest sport in America.”