Former Steelers Linebacker Surprisingly Retires From NFL After Six Seasons

Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Anthony Chickillo is calling it an NFL career after six seasons. Over the weekend, Chickillo announced his retirement after being drafted by the Steelers in the sixth round in 2015. He was a member of the Denver Broncos last year.

"To all my family, friends, and fans today I announce my retirement from the game of football," Chickillo wrote in the Instagram post. "I'd like to thank [the University of Miami, the Steelers, Saints and Broncos] for the opportunity of a lifetime. My whole life my dream was to go to the University of Miami and play in the NFL. I am so grateful for the opportunity and thankful for every one of the teams that gave me a shot. The game of football is apart of my family and will always be forever. Thank you for the support everyone!"

Last season, Chickillo played in 11 games from the Broncos and notched 11 tackles, one sack and one pass defended. He signed with the team before the start of the 2020 season after spending a few months with the New Orleans Saints. Chickillo signed with the Saints after being released by the Steelers in March 2020. He spent five seasons with the Steelers and played in a total of 65 games.

"I was lucky to be in Pittsburgh the past five years," Chickillo said shortly after signing with the Saints last year. "I feel like I'm coming from a winning culture, so I feel like I'm going to fit in well with the locker room. It'll be different playing in a four-three, in Pittsburgh I got used to the three-four, but in college I played with my hand down in a lot of different positions. I'm excited and I think I'll be a good fit for the team."

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Chickillo played college football at the University of Miami in Florida and would start 47 games. In his career at Miami, Chickillo recorded 170 tackles and 15.5 sacks. "He doesn't have a position as far as I can tell. I don't think he projects inside or outside," an NFC Scouting Director said to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com before Chickillo was drafted. "He's just caught between positions and there isn't anything that he does really well."