Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Two-time Super Bowl champion Stefen Wisniewski announces retirement from NFL to become pastor

Two-time Super Bowl-champion Stefen Wisniewski’s time in the NFL has come to an end. The 10-year veteran announced his retirement in a video posted to social media Thursday and said he plans to become a pastor.

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“I absolutely loved playing the game of football, but after 10 years, my body, my mind and my heart are telling me it’s time to move on,” Wisniewski said in the video.

He then addressed his future and feeling called to ministry.

“What am I going to do next? I’m going to be a pastor,” he continued. “The absolute best part of my life is my relationship with Jesus Christ and I can’t imagine a better full-time job than teaching people the Bible and sharing the love of Christ with others.”

Wisniewski posted a full statement shortly after releasing the video and thanked a long list of people, starting with Jesus Christ, the “King of the Universe and my life.”

“You were my strength, joy, purpose, anchor, life, peace and passion through it all,” he wrote. “I only made it through the tough times because of Your presence and because of the promises in Your Word. And the intense joy from knowing You far surpasses any joy that came from even the best parts of the game of football. And all glory that people try to give to me for what I’ve accomplished truly and rightfully belongs to You. Romans 11:36.”

Wisniewski was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 2011 draft and played for five teams in his career. He started 81 games in four seasons with the Raiders before signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The former Penn State Nittany Lion then joined the Philadelphia Eagles in 2016 and won his first Super Bowl in the second of three seasons in Philly. In 2018, Wisniewski and four other members of the 2017 Eagles joined the Sports Spectrum Podcast to discuss that magical season.

He arrived in Kansas City in 2019 and hoisted the Lombardi Trophy for the second time in three years.

The Chiefs didn’t bring Wisniewski back in 2020, which gave him an opportunity to sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers, his hometown team. His wife is from Pittsburgh too, and his mom had been praying for years he would play closer to home.

It all fit perfectly, but it didn’t last long.

Wisniewski suffered a pectoral injury in Week 1 and was cut when he was eligible to be activated from injured reserve. He considered retirement before ultimately deciding he wanted to “go out playing,” as he explained to Sports Spectrum.

The Chiefs asked him to come back 17 days later, and he wound up starting in another Super Bowl last season. He joined the Sports Spectrum Podcast in February to talk about his path back to the Super Bowl:

“It’s really been a rollercoaster ride the last few years for me,” he said on the podcast. “There’s been a lot of really low points, frustrations where my career is not all what I hoped it to be or wanted it to be. And then there’s the highs of playing, starting and winning the Super Bowl, where it’s like, ‘Wow, this is everything I’ve ever dreamed of, and God’s given it to me.’ I really think He did it in that manner so that He would get all the glory.”

Now that rollercoaster ride is officially over, and a new chapter of Wisniewski’s journey is beginning.

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