Jabari Greer announces retirement

Free-agent cornerback Jabari Greer announced Thursday on ESPN's "First Take" that he is retiring from the NFL.

He had fun with the announcement. Asked at the end of the show what his plans for the future were, Greer sipped out of a white cup that had "retired" written in black ink.

Greer played for the Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints. He tore his left ACL in late 2013 and was cut by the Saints in February.

Said Greer: "I had a blast. It was incredible."

Greer, who had been rehabbing from the knee injury throughout the year, said he finally decided he wanted to retire at the end of the preseason, when he realized he no longer had that desire trying to pull him down Airline Drive, where the Saints' practice facility is located.

"Although I support my guys, I was so fulfilled being home with my wife and children, I realized football didn't fulfill me anymore," said Greer, who has been open in the past about what a life-changing experience it has been for him to realize how much football dominated his life.

"Aug. 1, I maybe had the best day of my life," Greer said. "For the first time in 15 years, I woke up in my bed, next to my wife, instead of a dorm room or a hotel. I always knew I'd be excited to get my Augusts back. That was like Christmas morning."

The one negative, Greer said, is that when he Googles his name, one of the first things that pops up is "Jabari Greer injury."

"As a competitor, you never want to be known for that," Greer said. "But I've been blessed to be able to play the game at a high level, overcoming adversity year after year. And I look forward to dedicating myself to my family the way I did my team."

Greer was a huge part of the Saints' Super Bowl season in 2009. He joined the team as a free agent that year and emerged as a lockdown corner.

Greer had 12 interceptions in five years as a starter for the Saints, including three in the playoffs.

"Although I did not get to determine how I left the game, now I have a chance to determine what my legacy will be going forward," Greer said.

Broadcasting could be a part of that future. Greer has now appeared as a guest analyst on ESPN three times -- as well as sharing some Saints analyses on ESPN.com. Before announcing his retirement Thursday, Greer shared his thoughts on everything from the Roger Goodell and Ray Rice scrutiny to some X's and O's on upcoming games.

One point he shared that he feels passionate about is the need for players to develop a way to help each other grow as men since football can dominate their lives so much. He said that kind of reform can't come from the league or the owners; it needs to come from the players themselves.

ESPN.com's Mike Triplett contributed to this report.