Veteran linebacker Brian Orakpo announced his retirement on Monday, ending his 10-year NFL career on what he described as his own terms.
Orakpo, 32, ends his professional career with 66 sacks, including 26 during his four-year run with the Titans.
Orakpo was originally a first-round pick of the Redskins in 2009 out of the University of Texas and spent the first six seasons of his career in Washington.
He joined the Titans as an unrestricted free agent signing in 2015 and played out the four-year contract he signed that was worth $32 million.
“One thing I always wanted to do when I got to this point in my career was to walk away on my terms,” Orakpo said. “I’m healthy and in a great state of mind. Coach Vrabel and Company let me address the team. I always consider my team as being my family, my extended family and when we got through these tough things, the No. 1 thing we always say is that you want to make sure you talk it over with family before you make these types of decisions. I consider my team my family, and I wanted to address those guys before they heard it from me before they heard it from other sources, and things of that nature, ”
Orakpo said he was most proud of the fact that he helped change the culture of the Titans organization during the his time with the team. When Orakpo arrived with the Titans, the franchise was struggling, having won just two games the year before he came and three more his first season in Nashville in 2015.
“I’m disappointed about not making the playoffs, but I thought we did some great things with leadership from Coach Vrabel and Jon Robinson. We completely changed the whole cultu.re that’s what I’m most proud of. When you thought of the Tennessee Titans before, it was an easy W for opponents when they would come in here or whenever the Titans would play, it was considered a win. But I think we all collectively helped to change the culture.”.
Orakpo missed the final three games of the 2018 season with a triceps injury, making those the only three games he missed in four seasons in Tennessee.