Eric LeGrand Retires: Buccaneers' Recent Signee Announces Retirement

Alex KayCorrespondent IJuly 26, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12:  Former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand #52  leave the field after participating in the coin toss before a game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Army Black Knights at Yankee Stadium on November 12, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. LeGrand was paralyzed during a kickoff return in October 2010.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Eric LeGrand has just performed yet another wonderful act of selflessness.

The partially paralyzed defensive tackle gave up the roster spot he was occupying on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to allow another player to join the team during training camp.

LeGrand made the announcement via his Twitter feed early Thursday morning.

I am retiring as a buccaneer player today, I knew I wouldn't keep the roster spot forever and my team enters camp today and I want them to

— Eric LeGrand (@EricLeGrand52) July 26, 2012

Head coach Greg Schiano initially signed the 21-year-old following the 2012 NFL draft.

The act showed the affection that Schiano had for the defensive tackle he coached during their time with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. It exemplified the class of the Bucs organization and highlighted the bravery and courage of LeGrand.

However, as the New Jersey native mentioned in his announcement, the signing was largely ceremonial, and he will now join the reserve/retired player list, according to Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.

In a statement released by the Bucs PR staff (via BayNews9), LeGrand said, "Making it to the NFL was my dream. But now I want to see my team as strong as possible at the start of Training Camp. I'm a Buc for life."

This unselfish act should certainly help Tampa Bay, a team that started the 2011-12 season with a 4-2 record but finished 4-12. The Bucs have much to improve upon if they want to be competitive in the NFC South.

LeGrand gave the team a huge emotional boost, but he unfortunately isn’t ready to return to the football field just yet. He is making amazing progress in his recovery from the now-infamous 2010 spinal cord injury he suffered.

Yasinskas reported that the courageous player is working toward finishing his degree and has expressed interest in broadcasting, but he noted that it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him remain with the Buccaneers organization.

Keep it tuned to B/R for the latest breaking news, opinions, updates and analysis on Eric LeGrand’s retirement and what is next for this heroic young man.