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.