|Tuesday, June 25
Updated: June 26, 4:40 PM ET
Quarterback announces his intentions to quit NFL
By Len Pasquarelli
Quarterback Randall Cunningham, whose scrambling and gambling style often left opposition defenses gasping for breath and grasping at air during his prime, apparently has decided to retire from the NFL after a sometimes brilliant career.
An unrestricted free agent who has generated only modest interest during the offseason, Cunningham announced his intentions Tuesday night on a local Philadelphia television show on Comcast SportsNet. Sources close to the 16-year veteran confirmed that Cunningham, who sat out the '96 season after announcing his retirement then, will definitely step down for good now.
Cunningham, 39, played for the Baltimore Ravens in 2001. He could not be reached for comment late Tuesday night.
"He's done about everything he set out to do, except for winning a (Super Bowl) ring, but he's at peace with that," a source told ESPN.com. "It's been a great career. Randall knows that and he is ready to move on now. There's nothing left to prove."
The multi-talented passer, who early in his career won nearly as many contests with his legs as with his arm, hopes to sign a ceremonial contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, the franchise with which he entered the NFL in 1985. It would permit Cunningham to retire as an Eagles player, which is his desire.
The former Nevada-Las Vegas star played for four teams during his career: Philadelphia (1985-95), Minnesota (1997-99), Dallas (2000) and Baltimore (2001). He played in six games last season, and started two, completing 54 of 89 passes for 573 yards, with three touchdown passes and two interceptions. The Ravens won both outings.
In all, Cunningham appeared in 162 games and started 135 of them. He completed 2,429 of 4,289 passes for 29,979 yards, with 207 touchdown passes, 134 interceptions and a career passer rating of 81.5.
His greatest season came in 1998, when he replaced Brad Johnson as the starter with the Vikings and he led Minnesota to the NFC title game. Cunningham passed for 3,704 yards and 34 touchdowns that season. But since starting 14 games that season, Cunningham started just 11 times in the past three years.
In addition to his passing statistics, Cunningham was one of the most prolific running quarterbacks in league history, rushing for 4,928 yards and 35 touchdowns.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.