Locker will step away from the game after four NFL seasons, all of which were with the Tennessee Titans. The 26-year-old former Washington Huskies standout was selected No. 8 overall by Tennessee in the 2011 draft.
Locker said in his statement:
"I am retiring from football after much reflection and discussion with my family. 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."
Locker's 2014 season was cut short due to a dislocated shoulder and he was placed on injured reserve in December. He previously missed time last season due to a thumb injury and was benched in favor of Zach Mettenberger in October.
In seven games last season, Locker threw for 993 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions. He ends his career having completed 57.5% of his passes for 4,967 yards, 27 touchdowns and 22 interceptions.
Tennessee Titans Epic Moments
With only 16 seconds left and the Tennessee Titans trailing Buffalo in a wild-card playoff game in Nashville, Frank Wychek fielded a kickoff and threw an across-the-field lateral to Kevin Dyson, who ran 75 yards for a touchdown, giving Tennessee a 22-16 victory and its first playoff win as the Titans. The play was instantly christened as "The Music City Miracle."
The Houston Oilers won the inaugural AFL championship game, beating the San Diego Chargers 24-16, at Jeppesen Stadium. Quarterback George Blanda passed for 301 yards and three touchdowns, and running back Billy Cannon was named the game's MVP.
The Titans defeated Jacksonville 33-14 for the AFC championship and qualifyed for their first--and so far--only Super Bowl. Quarterback Steve McNair passed for 112 yards and a TD and ran for 91 yards and two more TDs. Derrick Mason broke the game open with an 80-yard kickoff return for a TD.
Quarterback Warren Moon completed 27 of 45 passes as the Oilers beat the Chiefs 27-10 in Kansas City. Moon's 527 passing yards were the second-most, single-game total in NFL history (behind Norm Van Brocklin's 554 yards in 1951). In the same game, wide receiver Haywood Jeffires caught nine passes for 245 yards.
Rookie running back and Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell put on a show on Monday Night Football as he rushed for 199 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-30 victory over Miami. It arguably is the most memorable single-game performance in the Hall of Famer's career.
- Molly Geary