After nine years in the NFL, pass rusher Derrick Morgan announced his retirement — or “transition” as he calls it — this morning on Instagram.
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It’s been real... I’ve been playing this game since I was 9 years old. Over the years it’s brought a lot of struggle, triumph, adversity and joy to my life. It’s help shape me into the man I am today. But for the longest the game was “who I was”..it was my IDENTITY. I didn’t know who Derrick Morgan was outside of this game. I tried to shake this reality in a business that tells you your value IS your performance. However the one thing that helped me evolve as a man over the years was knowing that I couldn’t play this game forever..that there was life after football. I realized early on the importance of this platform and my goal has been to use it for good. I had a strong inclination going into this year that this would be my last. I’ve always said 2 things about my career. 1. I would play as long as it made sense. And 2. I wanted to leave the game on my OWN terms. And over 9years, 5 head coaches, 9 surgeries, and seeing a locker room turn over multiple times I am thankful to say that I accomplished both of these goals. It’s been a pure blessing to live out a childhood dream and I’m THANKFUL to the @titans organization for giving me my shot, my friends and family over the years who’ve been a huge support and most importantly God for bringing me this far. I always hated the word “retire” it insinuates sitting on the beach and playing golf everyday (both good things) but I like the word “transition” better. I’m looking forward to this next phase of life and doing purposeful work through @kngdm_group and helping to create more opportunities for those who are underserved and overlooked. Once again thank you for the support And please stay tuned. I’m just getting started. ✌
Morgan was the Titans first round pick (16th overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft and spent his entire professional career in Tennessee, tallying 106 starts, 44.5 sacks, 306 tackles, 112 quarterback hits, 54 tackles for loss, and 5 forced fumbles. His sack total ranks 6th in franchise history behind just Ray Childress (75.5), William Fuller (59), Sean Jones (57.5), Jevon Kearse (52), and Jurrell Casey (46). Not bad company.
Morgan’s career is largely under appreciated. While he never had the huge sack season that tends to put pass rushers on the map, he was consistently productive and advanced charting always painted him in a more flattering light than box score stats did. Morgan ranked among PFF’s top 25 edge rushers in their Pass Rush Productivity metric four times in his nine year career, topping out at 8th in 2016.
Off the field Morgan was a leader in the locker room and a leader around the league, helping to champion research efforts into the medical benefits of marijuana for football injuries like CTE. He has also become an investor in multiple businesses, primarily focused on companies that benefit underserved communities. You can learn more about his plans for his post-football career here. There is little doubt in my mind that he will be a success in the business arena as well.
Derrick Morgan played under five head coaches in his nine years in Tennessee — Jeff Fisher, Mike Munchak, Ken Whisenhunt, Mike Mularkey, and Mike Vrabel — and suffered through some of the worst seasons in franchise history, but he was part of the group that turned around the culture of this organization and he left the franchise better off than he found it. That will always make him a winner in my book. Congratulations on a great career, Derrick.