Whitney Mercilus announces retirement after 10 NFL seasons

Like LeBron James, Whitney Mercilus was once just a kid from Akron, Ohio.

He is retiring as a 10-year NFL veteran with much to be proud of. Mercilus announced his retirement on Wednesday via a video posted on Instagram.

A three-star defensive prospect from Garfield High School in Akron, Merclius carved out an even brighter future for himself at the University of Illinois, becoming a breakthrough rusher in his 2011 junior season. tower. and a move from Champaign, Illinois, to Houston, where he will embark on a decade-long NFL career.

Mercilus never reached the Pro Bowl or first-team All-Pro status in his career, but he made a consistent impact with the Texans, averaging nearly six sacks a season in Houston and posting a better rating. in a 12-sack season in 2015. He recorded 345 tackles, including 72 for loss to Houston from 2012-2021, and teamed with 2014 first-round pick Jadeveon Clowney and future Pro Football Hall of Famer , JJ Watt, to form a relentless front that was effective on all fronts. down and helped Houston reach the playoffs three times in its first five years.

Defense was the name of Houston’s game before Deshaun Watson arrived in 2017, and Mercilus was as reliable as it was efficient, appearing in double-digit games in all but two of his 10 pro seasons. He only left Houston once the tide turned towards an arduous rebuild, being released in October 2021 before signing with Green Bay.

Mercilus hasn’t quite achieved household name status in his 10 productive professional seasons, but he has proven worthy of the late first-round selection given to the former Illini star. He will retire focusing on spending more time with his family and helping people with disabilities while continuing to hone his leadership skills.

Although Mercilus may have left his sport before another famous Akron native, he can look back with satisfaction on a decade of high quality spent in the NFL.

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