Seahawks TE Luke Willson retires after re-signing with team due to heart issue

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Luke Willson is calling it a career.

Longtime Seahawks tight end Luke Willson announced on social media Wednesday afternoon that he is retiring from the NFL, just one day after he signed a one-year deal with Seattle.

Willson said that he dealt with a serious heart issue earlier this offseason and was briefly hospitalized.

“This offseason I went through some health issues and spent numerous days in the hospital with a severe pericardial effusion,” he wrote, in part. “That situation has really challenged me as an individual and changed my perspective on a lot of things with regards to my life.

“After reflecting on everything yesterday and being in the building, I have decided that it’s time for me to begin with the next chapter of my life.”

A pericardial effusion, according to the Mayo Clinic, is when excess fluid builds up around the heart.

Tight End Luke Willson of the Seattle Seahawks
Luke Willson said he was hospitalized earlier this year while dealing with a severe heart condition. (Al Pereira/Getty Images)

Willson signed one-year deal to return to Seahawks

Willson has essentially played his entire career with the Seahawks, and was going to kick off his fourth run with the team this fall.

The 31-year-old was drafted by Seattle in the fifth round in 2013, and won a Super Bowl with them that season. He spent the next four seasons with the Seahawks before jumping to Detroit Lions in 2018. He returned to Seattle for another year in 2019, and then spent three games with the Baltimore Ravens last season before playing five with Seattle.

Willson recorded 1,307 yards and had 11 touchdowns in 102 games throughout his NFL career. He signed a one-year, $1.075 million deal with the Seahawks on Tuesday.

“Football is really all I know. It’s all I’ve done for the last two decades,” he wrote, in part. “I’ll be honest, I have no idea what’s next at the moment, but whatever it is, you can be sure that I will bring a lot of energy to it.”

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