BY SPNW Staff 02:35PM 03/10/2015

Locker provides his own stunner: He’s retiring

Due to injuries, which limited his professional development, Jake Locker called it a career Tuesday. He threw 27 touchdowns and 22 interceptions in four pro seasons.

Jake Locker announced his retirement from the NFL Tuesday. / Wiki Commons

Former University of Washington quarterback Jake Locker, the No. 8 overall pick in the 2011 draft, provided his own stunner on a day of stunners Tuesday when he announced his retirement at 26. An unrestricted free agent who spent all four of his NFL years with the Tennessee Titans, Locker said in a statement that he had “lost his desire” to play and that “it wouldn’t be fair” to a new organization to sign a contract with that attitude.

“I am retiring from football after much reflection and discussion with my family,” Locker said via Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports. “I will always be grateful for having had the opportunity to realize my childhood dream of playing in the NFL, and for the lifelong relationships I developed because of that experience.

“Football has always played a pivotal role in my life and I love the game, but I no longer have the burning desire necessary to play the game for a living; to continue to do so would be unfair to the next organization with whom I would eventually sign.

“I realize this decision is surprising to many, but I know in my heart that it is the right decision and I look forward to spending more time with my family and pursuing other interests.”

One of the most popular and productive players in UW history and a plus athlete with mobility, Locker, from Ferndale, Whatcom County, is likely to be regarded as a professional bust, or close to it, in large part because of injuries that stunted his development.

Locker made only 30 career appearances but missed nine contests each of the past two seasons. He never played more than 11 games in any of his four seasons. Locker ends his career having completed 57.5 percent of his passes for 4,967 yards, 27 touchdowns and 22 interceptions.

Locker showed occasional flashes. He threw for 378 yards and two TDs in a 44-41 Tennessee win over Detroit Sept. 23, 2012; had a 309-yard game against Houston Dec. 2, 2012, and a 326-yard, 2-TD day against San Francisco Oct. 20, 2013. But Locker never really developed as a pocket passer.

At Washington from 2007-10, Locker threw 53 touchdown passes and ran for 29 scores. At No. 8 overall, he was the highest-drafted quarterback in Husky history.


YourThoughts

  • Joe Fan

    I wonder if he will now try his hand at MLB?

    • RadioGuy

      At 26? That ship has sailed. The Bellingham Bells play in a summer college league so that’s out unless it’s a one-shot event, but the Everett Merchants are semipro and would likely welcome Jake with open arms if he wanted to play for them.

  • Effzee

    Super nice kid, but he never was a real QB. Some of us saw that from day one.

    • notaboomer

      you should start a blog:-)

    • sabasarge

      I agree. Great and humble guy to be sure, but a first round pick? For a guy who had never done anything, let alone win? Oh yeah, there was that one game against SC, how could I forget.
      I couldn’t believe it when he was picked so high……..kinda like Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize when he had accomplished zip.
      It’s all about hopes and dreams I guess.

  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    And to think he could have played baseball….. what a kid with a wheelbarrow of talent and one of our own as Ferndale’s finest. Good luck in life ,Jake!

  • notaboomer

    much respect to a guy who values his brain over his wallet. football causes brain damage. great decision, mr. locker.

    • Estip

      His wallet is really not in bad shape, anyway.

  • Tyee Club member

    Jake is all class. I hope he works around young people. He is a great role model.

  • RadioGuy

    A few years ago, Jake came to a small town near where I live to visit a kid who played football but had been beset my medical issues. One local paper ran a story but otherwise it was done without fanfare and Jake spent some genuine time with the kid beyond just saying hello and dropping off swag. Just a classy, classy act.

    I liked Jake when he was at the UW (even though I’m a Cougs fan) and am glad to see he’s walking away from the game on his own terms and coming home to start a new life. I wish him well…he’s truly an example of the kind of person we’d like our athletes to be. We’re lucky to have quite a few of those in the area already but there’ll always be room for more. That would make for a great poll: Who is Seattle’s Classiest Athlete?