Former Tennessee Titans standout quarterback Steve McNair announced his retirement from the NFL Thursday in Baltimore, ending his 13-year standout career.
McNair, 35, spent the first 11 seasons of his NFL career with the Titans franchise after being the third overall pick in the 1995 draft.
McNair, who became a full-time starter in 1997 when the franchise settled into Tennessee, helped the Titans to the franchise’s only Super Bowl appearance in its 48-year history, leading the 1999 team to the AFC Championship. In the Titans’ 23-16 loss to the Super Bowl XXXIV loss to the St. Louis Rams, McNair engineered a final drive that came up one-yard short as receiver Kevin Dyson was stopped after catching a McNair pass on the game’s final play.
His best season came in 2003 when he was co-Most Valuable Player of the NFL. That season, he completed 250 of 400 passes with 3,215 yards, 24 touchdowns and just seven interceptions, sharing the MVP honor with Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts.
After the MVP season, McNair’s tenure with the Titans quickly came unraveled.
He was bothered by a sternum injury in 2004 that eventually required surgery. The injury limited him to just eight games that season.
Offensive coordinator Norm Chow came on board in 2005, and after that season, the Titans looked to the future drafting Vince Young, a McNair protégé, with the third pick in the ’06 draft.
The Titans and McNair could not agree on a reworked contract, as the quarterback refused to take a pay cut from the team, which desperately needed to lower his $23 million cap figure. McNair was eventually traded to Baltimore for a fourth-round pick in the 2007 draft.
McNair spent two seasons with the Ravens, leading the club to the AFC playoffs in 2006 with a 13-3 mark. However, he finished last season on injured reserve with a bad shoulder. He played in just six games with the club in 20007, fueling speculation that he might retire.
McNair finishes his NFL career with 2,733 completions in 4,544 attempts with 174 touchdowns and 119 interceptions. He threw for 31,304 yards in 13 NFL seasons.