Ex-Falcons Patrick Kerney announces his retirement

061022 - ATLANTA, GA -- ROETHLISBERGER KNOCKED OUT--Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is knocked out of the game on this hit by Falcons defensive end Patrick Kerney during 3rd quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2006. Roethlisberger did not get up for several minutes after the hit and never returned to the game. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC staff)

061022 - ATLANTA, GA -- ROETHLISBERGER KNOCKED OUT--Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is knocked out of the game on this hit by Falcons defensive end Patrick Kerney during 3rd quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2006. Roethlisberger did not get up for several minutes after the hit and never returned to the game. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC staff)

Former Altanta Falcons defensive end Patrick Kerney had hoped to return for the 2010 season and play for the Seattle Seahawks, but he elected to retire instead on Tuesday.

Kerney was drafted by the Falcons in first round (30th overall) of the 1999 NFL draft out of Virginia. He went on to have a stellar NFL career which included 82.5 sacks, two trips to the Pro Bowl and he was voted to the All-Pro team twice.

He was also named the NFC’s defensive player of the year in 2007.

Kerney, who’s had surgery is each of the past four offseasons, announced his retirement in statement released by the Seahawks.

“Despite the desire to continue my career, I am retiring from professional football,” Kerney said in a statement released by the team. “The toll that has been taken on my body will no longer allow me to train, and hence, perform at a level that is acceptable to me.”

He mentioned the Falcons in his farewell statement.

“It has been a privilege to work for two first-class organizations that are supported by passionate, inspirational fans,” Kerney said. “I cannot express enough gratitude to all who have supported me through my career.”

His best season as a Falcons came in 2004, when he had 13 sacks and nine passes defensed to  help them reach the NFC championship game.

The Falcons elected not re-sign Kerney after the 2006 season. Seattle signed him to a six-year, $39.5 million free agent contract and he went on to post a career-high 14.5 sacks during the 2007 season.

However, as the injuries started to take a toll and he could only muster 10 sacks over the next two seasons in 22 games.

The injuries started to mount in Atlanta. Kerney missed the final seven games of the 2006 season because or a torn right pectoral.

In 2008, he had shoulder and wrist injures. Last season he had a groin and elbow injuries.

63 comments Add your comment

Man Crush of the Decade - Patrick Kerney

April 14th, 2010
10:10 am

Falcons fans will dream for years about Kerney and Abraham bookend DE’s. However, our brilliant GM at the time thought it would be best to cut ties with the man who’s arms could explode a bowling ball for Jamal Anderson (tears run down face).

Sick & TIred Of Being Sick & Tired

April 14th, 2010
10:13 am

Hats off to Kerney who definitely contributed a lot while he played for the Falcons. Based on the information provided about his physical condition, it sounds like he made the right decision. Too many NFL players try to hold on and play too long and end up impacting the quality of their life after football.

waynester

April 14th, 2010
10:15 am

Amen to the last post…perhaps one day we’ll have TWO dominant DE’s and a DLine opponents fear to face–maybe in 2011! C’mon draft day!

Yulee Falcom

April 14th, 2010
10:18 am

Thanks Patrick for your hard work and never ending motor. There was never any question about your commitment and passion for the game. Fair winds and following seas.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 14th, 2010
10:22 am

Man Crush of the Decade — Patrick was awesome.(He was real nice to us media folks and we always like that!!!) But he only had one super year left when they let him become an UFA. If he’d stayed, he would not have helped much in 2007 (his big year) as that was the season the quarterback went to jail and the college coach went back to college.

SeenThisB4

April 14th, 2010
10:25 am

I wouldn’t want to play in Seattle either.

SirReal

April 14th, 2010
10:33 am

Kerney was a good DE for us. I liked him a LOT and he was a great compliment to Abe. We still have yet to fill the void on the D-Line. ( Hopefully they’ll get the right DE this time. I like Jamaal Anderson as a person but he’s just not cutting it at DE, he’s a better DT.) Kerney was a class act. We can all hope to have the type of pension he’s built.LOL Enjoy life after the gridiron. Life goes on.

Falcfan

April 14th, 2010
10:37 am

Kerney was great as a Falcon…but D-Led is right, he only had one real year left in the tank unfortunately….actually, Bierman kinda reminds me of a young Patrick Kerney….so maybe this is his breakout year…

North FLA Falcon

April 14th, 2010
10:39 am

A class act who will be missed. He ranks up there with Tuggle and Nobis as some of the all time Falcon greats. Who will step up to fill their shoes now??

Michael

April 14th, 2010
10:55 am

I am still very much of the opinion that the first pick of the NFL Draft this year should be the WLB as opposed to a defensive end! As starting linebackers of note, we only have Curtis Lofton and Stephen Nicholas. If we don’t address the WLB position, this would be the third consecutive season that we have not even selected a linebacker of note (high pick)! I thought that last year we would have at least drafter one of the linebackers in that rich draft, even if we had only drafted one of them. I will never get over the fact that we drafted JA98 in the first round the year prior, and missed out on drafting Patrick Willis (and we all know how that turned out)! This year, we have to find a way to draft Sean Weatherspoon at 19, and find a way to secure a 2nd round pick and draft Jerry Hughes as our DE.
On another note! BTW, way can anyone enlighten me on why the Birds didn’t even get into the Brandon Marshall sweepstakes? The guy just turned 26 years old (2 years younger that Roddy White)! Furthermore, who could we obtain that would make opposing defenses not double team Roddy & Tony G. downfield? This guy has had (3) consecutive seasons with 100 CATCHES. Certainly not Michael Jenkins (outside of Santonio Holmes, has there ever been a receiver from Ohio State that EVER did something productive in the NFL? You would lose absolutely nothing in the downfield blocking because Brandon blocks just as well as Michael, if not better!

FalconsFan284

April 14th, 2010
11:08 am

The NFL lost one of the best men to ever play the game. He is not a HOFer as a player but he is a HOFer as a man. He never got in trouble with the law and he is loyal to a fault. I would hope he finds happiness without football.

Brave Hokie

April 14th, 2010
11:14 am

Kerney: Good man {esp for a WaHoo} ~ Enjoy Your Retirement…

Falcfan

April 14th, 2010
11:15 am

Hey, Brandon Marshall does not fit the Falcons blueprint…Denver has tried to peddle him for two years, he was suspended at the beginning of last year….he has talent, but not the right character for this team…Miami can have him….way too much baggage….

JP

April 14th, 2010
11:38 am

He seemed like an awesome guy. I asked Schaub once what kind of car he drove and he replied “the same old Bronco he had in college”.

He was a great player, we’ll miss him!

Mike Jay

April 14th, 2010
12:06 pm

PK was a warrior for many years. football doeos the body no good. Good luck in retirement!

truth

April 14th, 2010
12:06 pm

Pouncey at 19!!!

truth

April 14th, 2010
12:07 pm

Oh……and PW was da man!!!

truth

April 14th, 2010
12:08 pm

Yes Patrick Werney. LOL! PK was da man!!!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Marilyn Rich and Chad Booker, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: Ex-Falcons Patrick Kerney announces his retirement http://bit.ly/dpNggQ [...]

SPS

April 14th, 2010
12:15 pm

As I recall, the Falcons did not ‘let him go’. He had a clause in his contract that allowed him the option to skip the final year. I can’t blame him for wanting to avoid the upcoming Petrino circus.

Man Crush of the Decade - Patrick Kerney

April 14th, 2010
12:16 pm

I hear ya D. Led, and I agree, but I would still have taken a beaten down Kerney over #98. Not trying to hate, but he has been given 3 years and Kerney got 10 sacks the last 3 years WITH his injuries. Oh well, time to let it go and move forward. I really just want Big Abe to get some help before he to has to retire.

Mr. Phil

April 14th, 2010
12:27 pm

Happy Trails to what will be a legend in these parts for years to come. Generations from now, we (I expect to live another 150 years or so) will still talk about the every-down effort that only a Patrick Kerney style motor could provide.

Sun Tzu 7

April 14th, 2010
12:38 pm

Happy Trails PK 97. He was one of my favorite Falcons and I hope he moves back to Atlanta and maybe we can put him in the ring of honor one day.

Personally, I blame the hiring of Bobby Petrino for Kerney leaving.

Life Long Bird

April 14th, 2010
1:22 pm

I will still wear my 97 jersey with pride just as I do my 56 and 58. All three were great Falcons and great men.

Falcon Fanatic

April 14th, 2010
1:27 pm

Since we have needs at LB, DE, OL, WR and TE, what if we could trade pick# 19 and move down in the first and pick up a second? Would anyone else make that move if it were possible?

Brian Hunt

April 14th, 2010
1:33 pm

Thank you PK for your contributions. I wish you much success as you transition to living the best years of your life without sacrificing your body. You’ll be missed.

dan

April 14th, 2010
1:40 pm

Kearney was a stud. It was too bad he was stuck in that awful 3-4 defense of Wade Phillips towards the end of Dan Reeves’ tenure in 2003( Kearney for the record HATED Wade Phillips). Kearney is definately a 4-3 guy all the way. He was one of those guys that willed himself into being a great DE, and was a freak in the workout room. Unfortunately, those guys take a beating over the years. I wish him well in his future endeavors.

Falcon Fanatic

April 14th, 2010
1:49 pm

Thanks for the memories #97 PK! I remember when you went out and played with a torn bicep!

Falcon Fanatic

April 14th, 2010
2:18 pm

Or was it a torn tricep?

Knotmuch

April 14th, 2010
2:43 pm

I have only purchased one Falcon jersey, and it was #97, Kerney. He has my upmost respect for how he played the game.

North FLA Falcon

April 14th, 2010
2:44 pm

Man Crush makes a good point … PK had more sacks in those 3 yrs, WITH INJURIES, than Jamaal Anderson has had, while being perfectly healthy. Kinda makes you say HMMMMMMM….

Hamp

April 14th, 2010
3:14 pm

Michael I agree that not many WRs have come out of Ohio State but you can debate that Chris Carter is one of the top three WRs of all time and he I believe is from Ohio State. I’m just defending CC but all your other points are valid.

King Tom

April 14th, 2010
3:22 pm

Tosin

April 14th, 2010
3:44 pm

I love this man.

Tosin

April 14th, 2010
4:08 pm

Brandon Marshall traded to the Dolphins for 2010 and 2011 second round picks. Marshall then signed a four year deal with the dolphins

Ackshun

April 14th, 2010
4:17 pm

This is a chance for the Falcons organization to say thanks to one of the best guys ever to wear red n black. They should do what the broncos did for Elam, sign him to a one-day contract and let him retire a Falcon! Thanks PK for everything!

StingerSplash

April 14th, 2010
4:20 pm

Michael,

Hamp is correct. Cris Carter went to Theee Ohio State University. Daryl Boston also was not bad … for a little while. Joey Galloway has had a long career.
But your point about the underachieving quality of Ohio State WRs is well taken. Now, about those Penn State WRs …. also a fairly nondescript lot in the NFL.

waynester

April 14th, 2010
4:32 pm

Ackshun
Now that is a good idea!

KKshot

April 14th, 2010
4:37 pm

It was David Boston.

Calvin G. Sims, Sr.

April 14th, 2010
5:33 pm

Godspeed, PK. Thanks for the memories. You are a man. You are a role model. You are appreciated.

Go Falcons!!!

onewoodwacker

April 14th, 2010
6:08 pm

I know a few weeks ago some of you guys down there were talking about DE Daniel Te’o-Nesheim (DTN) from the University of Washington. I’ve been watching Husky Football for the better part of 40 years and this kid is on my “Top 5″ all-time favorites list.

DTN became the all-time UW sack master during a 4 year run when we were as low as I can ever remember with coaches who were well – lazy. He is amazingly quick (4.67/40) for a man his size (6-4/270) and he is relentless in his effort. If you can get this kid in the 3rd or 4th round he would be a steal.

Forwarded you this Youtube clip of the kid you’ve probably never seen – enjoy.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/huskyfootballblog/

marko

April 14th, 2010
6:20 pm

I wish the Falcons would let Kearney sign a one day contract so he could retire with a real bird on his helmet. Thanks for all the great years Patrick, By the way, the Beer Man kid reminds me a lot of you. Perhaps you can show him the finer points of pumping up a crowd.

Chop Buster

April 14th, 2010
7:13 pm

Kerney you will always be a member of the Falcon family!!! You always went all out in the games. We appreciate everything you did for the team while you were here.

Sly Ty

April 14th, 2010
7:54 pm

Just saw Matty Ice on NFL Network, he spoke briefly about the 9-7 season from last year. He didn’t seem proud of the 9-7 season, I know we didn’t make the playoffs, but as a fan since 1980 I was very happy with the 9-7 season. That was 2 winning seasons in a row, am I the only guy happy about that, he didn’t seem happy with the 9-7 because we didn’t make the playoff? 2 winning seasons is good. Right guys?

74 Dawg

April 14th, 2010
8:09 pm

waw

April 14th, 2010
8:10 pm

Great choice for a Kerney photo – ROETHLISBERGER KNOCKED OUT.

WW

April 14th, 2010
8:57 pm

waw – good initials:)

Kerney was so cool. I was living in Jacksonville, and everyone at work would talk about how much they wish he was playing down there.

I hope he moves back to Atlanta.

44yr.fan

April 14th, 2010
9:42 pm

He was one of the best ever. Gave me lots of moments to cheer on the Falcons.

Gritz Blitz

April 14th, 2010
9:50 pm

Patrick Kerney showed how to gracefully leave a team and go play for another without being a total jerk about later. Too bad Keith Brooking didn’t take notes. I still love watching that smackdown Kerney delivered to that Giants player which they show all the time on the NFL Network. Congratulations Kerney for a fine career and thank you for all those great Falcon seasons.

44yr.fan

April 14th, 2010
10:03 pm

SLY TY Every season w/the Falcons is a good season—some just better than others. I was a 15 yr. old kid in North Dakota when they started, and Tommy Nobis got me hooked. And to this day I put up with crap for not being a Packers or Vikings fan. Hang w/the Birds, Super Bowl champs they’ll be before I die.