Former Texans, Packers LB Whitney Mercilus Retires After 10 NFL Seasons

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 6, 2022

Green Bay Packers linebacker Whitney Mercilus (50) during their game against the Arizona Cardinals in the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)
AP Photo/Darryl Webb

Whitney Mercilus announced his retirement from the NFL on his Instagram account Wednesday.

"It's time to hang it up," he wrote alongside a video. "Merci out."

The pass-rusher was a first-round pick in the 2012 NFL draft and spent the majority of his 10-year career with the Houston Texans before he was released during the 2021 season. He finished the year with the Green Bay Packers, appearing in six regular-season games and one playoff game.

Mercilus totaled 58 sacks in his career across 138 games, including 12 during the 2015 season with the Texans.

In 2016, he was named second-team All-Pro as a key part of a defense that ranked first in the NFL in yards allowed. That season, he had 7.5 sacks and set career highs with 53 tackles, 22 quarterback hits and four fumble recoveries.

The former Illinois star reached the playoffs in six different seasons, including this past year with the Packers, although he never advanced past the divisional round.

Green Bay seemingly offered the best shot as Mercilus worked his way back from a torn biceps that was originally expected to cost him the rest of the year. He returned to play 12 defensive snaps in a second-round loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

The 31-year-old was set to become a free agent but will now instead retire from the sport.