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Former Seahawks WR Jermaine Kearse announces retirement after 8 seasons

Liz Roscher
·5-min read

Jermaine Kearse, a wide receiver who spent eight years in the NFL, officially announced his retirement on Tuesday.

Kearse, a Washington native who spent six years of his career with his hometown Seattle Seahawks, posted his farewell to the NFL on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

It’s never really easy writing posts like this. I’m not a big announcement type of guy lol Trying to find all the right words to say to sum up my experiences over the past decade isn’t an easy feat so I’m going to try and keep this short and sweet. Lol After 8years playing in the NFL, I’m leaving the game feeling extremely grateful and content with what I was able to accomplish out there on the field not only for myself, but my family as well. Going through some extreme highs and some extreme lows has taught me a lot about myself and by the grace of God he was able to pull me through the rough times and in the end all those experiences were all worth it. I want to thank my wife @marisakearse for being the incredible woman that she is. Thank you for keeping me sane during the tough times and thank you for pushing me to be a better man. I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you to my family for your endless support and I love you guys so much! Thank you to all my teammates! You guys made this whole experience what it was. I had so much fun out there with you guys. I love y’all. Seattle, as a hometown kid it was a complete honor to represent you guys out there on the field. Thank you so much for your endless support throughout my football career. It was an honor to put on that Hawks uniform and I’m so grateful I was able to help bring our first Super Bowl home! Something We will never forget. I’m Looking forward to what God has planned for me in this next chapter of this thing called life but I can assure you it involves a lot of time with my family time and a lot of Golf haha see you on a course near you. THANK YOU and I love you all God Bless✌🏽

A post shared by Jermaine Kearse (@jkearse15) on

An undrafted free agent, Kearse’s career began with Seattle in 2012. Over six seasons and 69 regular-season games, he caught 153 passes for 2,109 yards and 11 touchdowns. In his second season, he helped the Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII, a 43-8 blowout against the Denver Broncos. He played in 12 playoff games for the Seahawks, making 31 catches for 493 yards and six touchdowns.

Kearse was traded to the New York Jets in 2017 and spent two seasons with them. He signed with the Detroit Lions and planned to play in 2019, but broke his leg in the first preseason game and hasn’t been back since. The Jets didn’t get a mention in his retirement post, but that’s understandable: Kearse spent most of his career with the Seahawks and won a Super Bowl with them.

Jermaine Kearse rushes against the Detroit Lions at CenturyLink Field on October 5, 2015.
Former Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse has retired after eight NFL seasons. (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Kearse’s almost-famous Super Bowl catch

Kearse won Super Bowl XLVIII with the Seahawks, but he had a nearly iconic moment just one year later in Super Bowl XLIX. While playing the New England Patriots, Kearse had a mind-blowing catch with just over a minute to go in the fourth quarter. He managed to catch a ball that was tipped by Malcolm Butler, reeling it in after falling to the ground and keeping it off the grass.

So why isn’t that incredible catch played over and over every year? What happened just a few snaps later instantly erased it from everyone’s memory: the infamous call on the 1-yard line. Just three feet away from a late-game victory, the Seahawks inexplicably called a pass play that was intercepted. They lost 28-24 and Kearse’s incredible catch became a footnote to one of the most head-scratching calls in Super Bowl history.

Kearse, who said he would have scored if he’d caught the ball facing the end zone instead of the sideline, told the New York Times in 2018 that he can’t really describe how he caught it.

“How did I catch it? It’s like — honestly, I don’t know,” said Kearse, repeating a question he has been asked hundreds of times in the last three years. “I mean, it’s not like a normal catch. I remember seeing the ball bounce around and I just tried to grab it.”

After catching the ball, he just walked away toward his teammates. No fanfare. No celebrating. No fist pumping. But he knows how incredible that catch was, and what could have been if things had gone differently.

“If we would have won, I think it probably would have been the best Super Bowl catch ever,” Kearse told the New York Times. “But we lost.”

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