After spending six seasons in the NFL, Anthony Chickillo has decided he's not interested in returning for a seventh. The former Steelers linebacker surprisingly announced his retirement over the weekend.
Chickillo had been in the NFL since 2015 when the Steelers selected him in the sixth round of the NFL Draft. The linebacker ended up spending five seasons in Pittsburgh (2015-19), before signing with the Saints to start the 2020 season. After spending the first few weeks of the year on New Orleans' practice squad, he was signed to a one-year deal by the Broncos, who immediately added him to their active roster.
The 28-year-old Chickillo was a free agent when he announced his retirement on Instagram.
"To all my family, friends, and fans today I announce my retirement from the game of football," Chickillo wrote. "I'd like to thank [the University of Miami, the Steelers, Saints and Broncos] for the opportunity of a lifetime. My whole life my dream was to go to the University of Miami and play in the NFL. I am so grateful for the opportunity and thankful for every one of the teams that gave me a shot. The game of football is apart of my family and will always be forever. Thank you for the support everyone!"
During his five seasons in Pittsburgh, Chickillo played in a total of 65 games and was a starter in nine of those. Although he was a linebacker, Chickillo made his mark on special teams. Over the course of his Steelers career, he tallied 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries. He also played in four playoff games with the Steelers, including the 2016 AFC Championship Game, which Pittsburgh lost to New England.
Chickillo was the third member of his family to make it to the NFL. His father, Tony Chickillo, played for both the Chargers and Jets during a three-year span in the 1980s, while his grandfather Nick spent one year with the Chicago Cardinals in 1953.