RENTON, Washington – A day after signing his contract with the Seattle Seahawks again, tight end veteran Luke Willson says he’s retiring from football.
In a statement posted Wednesday on Twitter, 31-year-old Willson wrote that he spent days in the hospital that off-season with severe pericardial effusion, which is a build-up of extra fluid in the space around the heart
“This situation has really challenged me as an individual and changed my view of many things about my life,” Willson wrote. “After thinking about everything yesterday and being in the building, I decided it was time for me to start the next chapter of my life.”
– Luke Willson (@ LWillson_82) August 25, 2021
The Seahawks released Willson on Wednesday and have an opening in their 80-man roster.
They had brought him back on Tuesday for a fourth stint with the team. That should add to their depth as Colby Parkinson struggles with a foot injury that could sideline him after the September 12 opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
Willson was a member of the 2013 Seahawks team that won Super Bowl XLVIII after being drafted from Rice in the fifth round that year, as well as the 2014 team that fell just yards behind the replay in Super Bowl XLIX . He spent his first five seasons with Seattle and returned in 2019 after a year with the Detroit Lions and an off-season with the Raiders. Last year he spent time with the Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens.
In 102 career games, Willson has 111 catches for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns. That doesn’t include his most famous piece, a 2-point conversion that will live on in the Seahawks lore. Willson caught Russell Wilson’s desperation late in the fourth quarter of the 2014 NFC Championship Game that was part of the Seahawks’ unlikely comeback against the Green Bay Packers.
Willson’s energy and funny personality made him a fan favorite and a popular player in Seattle’s locker room. He was the originator of their Techno Thursday movement in 2017, with players dancing on the practice field while techno music boomed from the speakers.
“Certain people just have more juice than others,” said coach Pete Carroll on Tuesday after Willson attended training. “Luke has always been a big part of it for us and just one of my favorites that we’ve had in our program over the years.”
In his statement, Willson thanked the Seahawks, their fans, his hometown of LaSalle, Ontario, and the coaches and teachers who have helped him along the way.
“I have always done my best to accurately reflect the characteristics of our region,” he wrote. “I hope I made you proud.
“Football is really all I know. It’s everything I’ve done for the past 2 decades. I’m honest, I have no idea what’s next at the moment. But whatever it is, you sure can be that I have a lot of energy on this. “
Willson’s departure leaves five tight ends with the Seahawks: Gerald Everett, Will Dissly, Tyler Mabry, Parkinson, and Cam Sutton.