HOUSTON, Texas (WFRV) – Whitney Mercilus played just a handful of games in Green Bay tallying only 5 tackles and 1 sack, but became a veteran presence on a young Packers defense.

Green Bay Packers linebacker Whitney Mercilus (50) tackles Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Williams during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

That leadership will need to be replaced now that the former first-round pick announced his retirement on Wednesday after a 10-year NFL career.

Mercilus was released from Houston mid-season, and then signed with the Packers but tore his left biceps on November 14th against Seattle. Mercilus was placed on injured reserve but was able to return for Green Bay’s playoff game against San Francisco.

“I decided I’m hanging up the cleats and I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my life,” said Mercilus on his Instagram account. He also added that he will be spending more time with his family and pursuing a career as a chef.

In 138 career games, Mercilus had 362 tackles, 58 sacks, 13 forced fumbles, and two interceptions. The edge rusher’s best season came in 2015 when he had a career-high 12 sacks and his 57 sacks are 2nd only to J.J. Watt in Texans franchise history.