One of the most respected tight ends in the NFL is hanging up the cleats, as Delanie Walker announced this week that he was retiring at the age of 38 after 14 NFL seasons. Walker made three straight Pro Bowls from 2015-17 as a member of the Tennessee Titans and last played in 2019.

Walker was originally drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Central Missouri. After seven seasons in The Bay, Walker wanted to find another team that would give him an opportunity to shine as a legitimate starter, and he found it with the Titans.

"I would say it worked out better than I could have imagined," Walker said, via the Titans' official website. "I dreamt about it, and made it come to life because I believed it would. I knew once I had the opportunity, I wasn't going to let it get away from me. Playing in Tennessee, with the Titans, it was better than I ever dreamed of, and I can't thank the Titans organization enough for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to do everything I was able to do. It was a dream come true, to be honest with you."

Walker recorded at least 800 receiving yards over a four-year span from 2014-17, with his best year coming in 2015, when he caught 94 passes for 1,088 yards and six touchdowns. From 2013-17, no tight end recorded more receptions than Walker (356). Apart from being a three-time Pro Bowler, Walker was a four-time team captain and twice named the team's Community Man of the Year.

"When I came into this league, I wasn't a big name, and I left this league with a big name and that just shows I worked hard for this," Walker said. "I worked hard to put myself on the map, and to prove to myself I was an elite player in this league.

"To be able to retire with the Titans means a lot because I feel like those were my best years. I am honored to go out as a Titan. They gave me the opportunity to play my best football and go out there and do what I do best, and that's to be a dog. I am glad that I'm able to retire as a Titan."

Walker let the league know that he was open to signing with another team over the last two years, but no deal ever came to fruition. He is still a member of the NFL world, as he now works with retired players as a part of the NFL's Legends Community. Walker steps away from the game having caught 504 passes for 5,888 yards and 36 touchdowns.