TAMPA, Fl. - Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker and 11- time Pro Bowl selection Derrick Brooks has officially announced his retirement from the NFL.
Brooks released a short video message Wednesday morning confirming the news and will hold a more formal press conference at Buccaneer headquarters on Thursday at 1:30 (et). Brooks thanked former coaches Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden, teammates and fans in Wednesday's announcement.
Now 37, Brooks was part of a salary purge by Tampa Bay following the 2008 season that led to his release along with fellow veterans Warrick Dunn, Joey Galloway, Ike Hilliard and Cato June. He did not return to play in 2009.
Over his 14 NFL seasons, all with the Tampa Bay organization, Brooks never missed a game. He started all but three of his 224 career contests after being selected by the Bucs with the 28th overall pick in the 1995 NFL Draft.
He went on to become one of the most recognizable players in franchise history, taking home NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2002 and leading the Buccaneers to their first NFL title to cap that same season.
Brooks recorded 100 or more tackles for 13 straight seasons from 1996-2008 and his 2,198 career stops are the most in team history. He also set franchise records for games played and games started with the club. Brooks was selected for the first of 10 consecutive Pro Bowls appearances in 1997. The streak was second-most by a linebacker in NFL history.
The former Florida State star racked up 25 career interceptions, including a memorable fourth-quarter pick in Super Bowl XXXVII that was returned for a touchdown to help seal Tampa's win over Oakland. He added 11 forced fumbles and 13 1/2 sacks to his NFL resume.