Getting into the NFL is incredibly difficult, but staying in the league for longer than a couple of years can be even harder. For one veteran linebacker, six years appears to be enough for him.
Taking to Instagram, former Steelers and Broncos linebacker Anthony Chickillo announced his retirement. He thanked everyone for opportunities and declared that football will always be part of his life.
“My whole life my dream was to go to the University of Miami and play in the NFL,” Chickillo wrote. “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!”
A third-generation NFL player, Chickillo was a star at the University of Miami. In four seasons with the Hurricanes, he had 171 tackles, 24.0 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks along with two forced fumbles and six defended passes.
Anthony Chickillo parlayed his success in college into a shot in the NFL. He was a sixth-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2015 NFL Draft.
It didn’t take long for Chickillo to become a regular on NFL Sundays. In five seasons with the Steelers, he appeared in 65 games, recording 97 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 15 QB hits, 7.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.
Chickillo’s time in Pittsburgh wasn’t without incident though. A domestic violence arrest in 2019 saw him put on the commissioner’s exempt list before the charges were withdrawn. But he was released after the season.
Chickillo started the 2020 season on the New Orleans Saints practice squad. He was signed to the Denver Broncos main roster midseason and finished the year with 11 tackles and one sack.