In a statement released through the Pittsburgh Steelers, Stephon Tuitt has announced his retirement from the NFL. The team sent out Tuitt’s statement via a tweet moments ago.
In part, it reads:
“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.”
He concluded by thanking the Rooney family, Mike Tomlin, and the Steelers’ organization.
Tuitt’s brother was killed in a hit-and-run last summer. Tuitt missed the entire 2021 season partly due to the grief of that loss in addition to a knee injury that landed him on injured reserve.
New general manager Omar Khan released a statement alongside Tuitt’s.
“I want to thank Stephon for all he did for the Steelers during his eight-year career in Pittsburgh. 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 man in his personal life. Now that he has informed us he is retiring from football, we are all thrilled to see what he becomes as a person and professional after graduating from Notre Dame this past month. We are excited for what lies ahead in his life and will continue to support him in any way we can.”
Teammates strongly hinted that Tuitt would return this season. But he will move on with life’s work instead. Chris Wormley is likely to continue starting in Tuitt’s place. Pittsburgh also drafted DL DeMarvin Leal in the third round this year. Second-year run stuffer Isaiahh Loudermilk will also have an increased role.
Dave Bryan outlined the salary cap ramifications of Tuitt’s decision.
Drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft, Tutt started 79 games for the Steelers, recording 34.5 sacks. HIs best year came in his final one playing, putting up 11 sacks in 2020 and forming a dynamic duo with teammate Cam Heyward.
Without Tuitt and several other key defensive linemen last year, Pittsburgh’s run defense bottomed out to the worst in football and the team’s worst run defense in franchise history.