Luke Willson signed with the Seahawks on Tuesday hoping to start the ninth season of his NFL career. But after one day back and some time to reflect, Willson decided to retire from football, he announced on social media.
"After signing with the Seahawks yesterday, I have decided to walk away from the game of football," Willson wrote. "This off-season I went through some health issues and spent numerous days in the hospital with a severe pericardial effusion. That situations has really challenged me as an individual and changed my perspective on a lot of things with regards to my life. After reflecting on everything yesterday and being in the building, I have decided that it's time for me to begin with the next chapter of my life."
Over the course of seven seasons, Willson appeared in 85 games with the Seahawks, starting 44 while catching 97 passes for 1,208 yards and 11 touchdowns. Willson also was on the receiving end of one of the most important 2-point conversions in team history, catching a pass from Russell Wilson that gave the Seahawks a 3-point lead over Green Bay late in an NFC Championship game the Packers would send into overtime with a field goal at the end of regulation.
Beyond his on-field production, Willson became a favorite both of fans of his teammates in the locker room because of his quirky sense of humor, his passion and his toughness, making him a player Seahawks coach Pete Carroll described last year as "just a lifeblood, energy guy in the program, as well as a really good ballplayer."
Talking about the energy Willson brings to a team, Carroll said Tuesday, "Luke has always been a great part of that for us, and he's just one of my favorites that we've had in the program over the years."
After saying thanks Seattle and the 12s, saying "you really are the best fans in the world," Willson concluded his announcement saying, "Football is really all I know. It's all I've done for the last 2 decades. I'll be honest, I have no idea what's next at the moment... but whatever it is, you can be sure that I will bring a lot of energy to it."
Take a look back at some of the best photos from Luke Willson's first five NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks as the tight end rejoins the club in 2019.