Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette announced his retirement from the NFL at a news conference Thursday, surrounded by his former teammates, staff and coaches.
The former Seahawks wide receiver called it a career after suffering a severe injury to his spine against the Dallas Cowboys last November that nearly took his life.
Asked if it was tough to retire, Lockette said: "No, because I love my family and I'd rather walk."
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The near 30-year-old is leaving the game with three Super Bowl appearances, a Super Bowl ring, four career touchdown catches and the infamy of being the intended receiver on Russell Wilson's pass that was intercepted by Malcolm Butler to end Seattle's bid for a second straight title.
Lockette also leaves with titanium plates holding his cervical spine together and just 50 percent rotation in his neck, a result of the hit from the Cowboys' Jeff Heath that put an end to his NFL career.
A video posted by Ricardo Lockette (@ricardolockette) on
The undrafted free agent out of Fort Valley State University in Georgia said he had no regrets about the way he played, but has critiqued himself over what happened on the play where he was injured and what he could have done differently to avoid the outcome.
"Because I'm a perfectionist and I always feel like I could have done something better," Lockette said. "As you go back and look at the film, that's what we do. We go back and look at film and critique it as football players."
A photo posted by Ricardo Lockette (@ricardolockette) on
Lockette wants to remain connected to football, whether it's through coaching proper technique to youth players or remaining affiliated with the Seahawks. Mostly, Lockette wants the next stage of his life to include helping others.
"It's not a sad day for me. Life goes on," Lockette said. "I never really wanted to be an Olympic track star or an NFL player. I just wanted to be great. I wanted to be great at something. I wanted to make my family proud. And hopefully I've done that."