Three-time Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker officially announced his retirement from the NFL after 14 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans.
A sixth-round pick in 2006, Walker played his first seven years with the Niners, mostly buried on the depth chart before moving to Tennessee, where he became a go-to target.
“I would say it worked out better than I could have imagined,” Walker told the Titans’ official website. “I dreamt about it, and made it come to life because I believed it would. I knew once I had the opportunity, I wasn’t going to let it get away from me. Playing in Tennessee, with the Titans, it was better than I ever dreamed of, and I can’t thank the Titans organization enough for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to do everything I was able to do. It was a dream come true, to be honest with you.”
Walker generated 123 catches for 1,465 yards and eight touchdowns in seven seasons with San Francisco. The athletic tight end then exploded with more opportunity in Tennessee. He earned 381 catches for 4,423 yards and 28 TDs in seven years with the Titans. During a four-year stretch from 2014-2017, Walker earned more than 800 yards each campaign and caught 20 TDs. He posted a career-high 1,088 yards in 2015, the first of three consecutive Pro Bowl seasons.
“When I came into this league, I wasn’t a big name, and I left this league with a big name and that just shows I worked hard for this,” Walker said. “I worked hard to put myself on the map, and to prove to myself I was an elite player in this league.
“To be able to retire with the Titans means a lot because I feel like those were my best years. I am honored to go out as a Titan. They gave me the opportunity to play my best football and go out there and do what I do best, and that’s to be a dog. I am glad that I’m able to retire as a Titan.”
Injuries derailed the end of Walker’s run in Tennessee, as he played in just eight games from 2018-2019. He was released in March 2020 and sat out the season, citing COVID-19 concerns. Walker worked out for the 49ers last summer but was not signed.
Walker retires with 504 catches for 5,888 yards and 36 touchdown receptions.
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