The Vikings announced Greenway would hold a press conference Tuesday to formalize the decision.
A 2006 first-round pick, Greenway spent his entire career in Minnesota. He ranks fourth in Vikings franchise history with 1,334 tackles and sits near the top of the team record books among linebackers in sacks and interceptions.
An impending free agent, Greenway told reporters after the season that he was considering retirement. He started just nine of 16 games in 2016 despite being fully healthy and finished with a career-low 41 tackles. Pro Football Focus ranked him 68th among linebackers, grading him as an overall liability.
“We live in a different world in the NFL. I’m 33 years old and I’m up here talking about potentially retiring. It’s just a different world, different business," Greenway told reporters.
Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph wished his former teammate well in retirement in a post on Twitter:
Kyle Rudolph @KyleRudolph82
#Farewell52 🐐 https://t.co/zbHq8JtH0f2017-3-6 18:14:32
While his playing career is over, it's possible his time with the Vikings franchise is not. Co-owner Mark Wilf said at the Super Bowl that Greenway could return to the team in an executive capacity, something the now-former linebacker expressed interest in.
“I would call it a possible avenue that I would seek out eventually, and that’s not necessarily saying that would be on the football side of things either,” Greenway said, per Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “So it could possibly be on the business side or the executive side. But that’s all what-ifs, and that’s just a road that I eventually could go down if A, B and C happen…I would say that I would definitely consider it and look into it if we get to that point.”
Greenway finishes his career with two Pro Bowl selections and a 2012 All-Pro berth (second team). He was named the Byron "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year in 2015 and is second in Vikings franchise history with four team Man of the Year honors.
His departure marks the second long-tenured Viking to leave this offseason, as the team declined an option in running back Adrian Peterson's contract. Peterson is widely expected to depart in free agency.