Spring 2021 Magazine

WR Jermaine Kearse retires from NFL, looks forward to 'what God has planned'

After an eight-year career, wide receiver Jermaine Kearse announced in an Instagram post Tuesday that he is retiring from the NFL.

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more stories where sports and faith connect <<

The 30-year-old Lakewood, Wash., native and University of Washington alum may best be remembered as an integral part of the Seattle Seahawks’ offense in the mid-2010s. With Kearse on the team, the Seahawks reached back-to-back Super Bowls, winning their first over the Denver Broncos by a score of 43-8 after the 2013 season. He scored a touchdown in the victory.

Kearse was traded to the Jets in 2017 after his five-year stint in Seattle. In his first of two seasons in New York, he had perhaps his best year with 65 catches, 810 yards and five touchdowns. Kearse’s last appearance was with the Detroit Lions in 2019, when he suffered a broken leg in the first quarter of the first preseason game and missed the remainder of the season.

He leaves football with 255 career receptions for 3,290 yards and 17 touchdown catches in 99 career regular-season games.

“After 8 years 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,” Kearse wrote in his lengthy Instagram post. “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.”

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

He went on to thank his wife, his family members and his teammates for their steadfast support. Kearse ended his post by turning his eyes toward the future.

I’m Looking forward to what God has planned for me in this next chapter of this thing called life,” Kearse wrote, “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✌🏽”

In 2018, Kearse — who calls himself a “Jesus follower” in his Instagram biothanked God for reconnecting him with his brother whom he didn’t realize he had.

“Today was particularly a special day, as I got to hang out with my brother whom I never met until the first time earlier this year,” Kearse wrote. “Truly amazing how God works! Such a great day with my grandma and family. Truly blessed!”

In February 2019, the receiver was baptized after his second season in New York.

“No longer a free agent,” his post said, referencing his faith in Christ in the midst of an uncertain football future. He was set to become an NFL free agent a couple of weeks later. Former New York Jets teammate and fellow believer, Demario Davis (white shirt), helped with the baptism.

Now, as he enters the unknowns of life after football, Kearse is again pointing to his Savior.

RELATED STORIES:
WR Jermaine Kearse gets baptized, says he’s ‘no longer a free agent’
Jets’ Jermaine Kearse thanks God for reconnecting him with his brother
20 NFL players to watch in 2020: Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson
NEW PODCAST: Steve Palazzolo – Pro Football Focus Senior Analyst
NEW PODCAST: Benjamin Watson – former NFL tight end