Ex-Titans LB Morgan, 30, says he's retiring

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Former Tennessee Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan is retiring from the NFL at the age of 30, as he looks to turn his attention to making a more significant impact outside of football.

Morgan spent nine seasons with the Titans after they selected him with the 16th overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft. He finishes his career with 44.5 sacks and 305 tackles.

The 2018 season was the last of a four-year, $27 million deal Morgan signed with the Titans in 2014. He started 12 games in 2018 and missed three games while dealing with knee and shoulder injuries.

Now a free agent, Morgan said that during last season he had a strong inclination that the end was drawing near.

"My purpose in life is bigger than the game," Morgan told ESPN. "What football taught me was the power of influence. My goal is to create better and more meaningful opportunities for marginalized communities to break the cycles of generational poverty and build greater wealth and economic mobility. I feel a deep responsibility to leverage my platform for this."

In a statement posted to Twitter, Morgan wrote that, "I've always said 2 things about my career. 1. I would play as long as it made sense. And 2. I wanted to leave the game on my OWN terms. And over 9 years, 5 head coaches, 9 surgeries and seeing a locker room turn over multiple times I am thankful to say that I accomplished both of those goals."

While playing for the Titans, Morgan was involved in real estate and startup business ventures. Morgan said he plans to expand his impact in the community, with his sights set on a large project in his hometown of Coatesville, Pennsylvania.

Morgan's wife, Charity, is a vegan chef. Together they introduced many of the Titans players to a vegan-based diet during training camp last season.

Titans teammate Brian Orakpo announced his retirement at age 32 in December.

Morgan's best season came in 2016, when he finished second on the team with nine sacks. Orakpo led the Titans with 10.5 sacks that year.

Morgan's 44.5 career sacks are sixth all time in the combined history of the Houston Oilers and the Titans.