Derrick Brooks officially announces his retirement
Nearly 20 months after he played his last NFL game, former Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks has finally announced his retirement.
Brooks officially called his career quits during a two-minute announcement on his website this morning.
The Bucs have planned a news conference for 1:30 p.m. Thursday at One Buc Place to honor Brooks, who was the face of their franchise for more than a decade.
Brooks, 37, was released Feb. 25, 2009 when Bucs general manager Mark Dominik ordered a sweeping release of five veterans, including Warrick Dunn.
"This is my official retirement announcement,'' Brooks said on his on-line video website, derrickbrooks.tv. It was recorded at Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate High School.
Brooks played 14 seasons and was named to the Pro Bowl 11 times, including 10 in a row. He was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 2002, the season that culminated in the Bucs Super Bowl XXXVII victory over the Oakland Raiders. He ranks as the team's all-time career tackles leader with 2,196.
Currently a TV analyst for ESPN2's First Take and a commentator on Sirius Radio, Brooks has remained active in charitable efforts in the Tampa Bay area.
After his release from the Bucs, he worked out for the New Orleans Saints and had discussions with the Chicago Bears. But neither team signed him to a contract.
"I simply want to say thank you to all you fans, for supporting Derrick Brooks as well as the Buccaneers throughout my 14 years,'' Brooks said in the announcement.
"I want to thank all the coaches, starting with the head coaches: Sam Wyche, Jon Gruden and Tony Dungy. You guys meant a lot to me, your leadership affects me and what I do on a daily basis and that's competing to be the best. I thank all my teammates, those that played with me for an extended period of time to those that played with me for a short period of time.
"I'd personally like to thank Warren Sapp. You mean a lot my friend. Words can't explain the gratitude, how fun it was to play behind you. John Lynch, knowing you had my back in that secondary. Ronde Barber, my Cover Two buddy. You re-defined the defense by playing in space. Simeon Rice, one of the best at going and getting the quarterback. I love you to death, not for just what you do on the field, but how you challenge me mentally to be the best and your thought process. It was fun.
"Again, I thank all you guys. All the support staff, starting with the front office personnel, to the support staff to help this football team go on a daily basis. Again, the Glazers. We came here together in 1995. I thank you for investing in this football team and turning it into a winner. I wish you tremendous success moving forward. And last, but not least, I thank my family.''