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Free agent linebacker Jason Worilds to retire

Jason Worilds

Jake Locker and Patrick Willis aren’t the only surprise retirements on the first day of free agency.

According to his agent, Jason Bernstein, linebacker Jason Worilds has elected to hang up his cleats and retire from the NFL.

“I appreciate all of the interest from the organizations that have reached out to us the past few days,” Worilds said in a statement released by his agent. “With that being said, after much thought & consideration I have chosen to step away from football as I have opted to pursue other interests. I am especially grateful of the opportunity to play before some of the greatest fans in football today. Despite any concern and speculation that may ensue, I appreciate those that are respectful of my decision.”

Worilds started all 16 games for the Pittsburgh Steelers last season with 59 tackles, 7.5 sacks, an interception and a forced fumble.

As a productive pass rusher, Worilds is turning down an opportunity at a very nice contract in free agency in order to pursue other interests. He walks away after five seasons with the Steelers. For his career, he compiled 204 tackles with 25.5 sacks and four forced fumbles.