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Stephon Tuitt has retired

Updated: Jun 2, 2022

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

The Steelers announced on Wednesday that Stephon Tuitt has retired. Tuitt finished his eight-year career with 34.5 sacks, which is 19th-most in team history.

Tuitt missed the entire 2021 season with a knee injury, but he was also dealing with a personal tragedy, as his brother, Richard Bartlett III, 23, was killed in a hit-and-run car accident last June.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bartlett died after he was struck by a car while trying to secure a mattress and box spring to the top of a vehicle along McGinnis Ferry Road about 9:30 p.m. on June 2. The hit-and-run remains under investigation.

"With respect to the Steelers organization, my teammates, and coaches I would like to officially announce that I have come to the decision to retire from the NFL," Tuitt said in a statement. "I am thankful to have had the opportunity to represent the city of Pittsburgh for the past eight seasons, and am blessed to leave this game with my health. After the tragic loss of my brother Richard, and upon completing my degree from the University of Notre Dame, I know I am being called to move beyond the sport of football. I want to thank everyone for the love and support they have shown both on and off the field, and again want to thank The Rooney Family, Coach Tomlin, and the entire Pittsburgh organization. It was an honor and a privilege to play for this historic team. Go Steelers."

Steelers General Manager Omar Khan issued a statement as well.

"I want to thank Stephon for all he did for the Steelers during his eight-year career in Pittsburgh," Khan said. "His success both on and off the field speaks volumes for who he is as a person and a player. Stephon has always handled himself with class and maturity as he continues to be a great husband, father, son and family man in his personal life. Now that he has informed us he is retiring from football, we are all thrilled to see what he becomes as a person and professional after graduating from Notre Dame this past month. We are excited for what lies ahead in his life and will continue to support him in any way we can."

Fellow defensive lineman and close friend Cam Heyward released a statement on Instagram about Tuitt's retirement.

"My brother made a decision that was best for him!" Heyward said. "You have made me a better player and always enjoyed playing beside you. As a teammate I was selfish in wanting you back but God has bigger goals for you! You are a father, husband, friend, son, brother and you will continue to keep shining! Plus now you are a graduate of Notre Dame! I’m so proud of you man can’t wait to see what next for you.

The Steelers really missed Tuitt's presence on the defensive line last season, as they ranked 32nd in the league in run defense (143.8) and yards per carry (5.0). A combination of Chris Wormley, Isaiahh Loudermilk and rookie third-round pick DeMarvin Leal will now have to step up on the defensive line with Tuitt no longer on the team.

According to, the Steelers save $9 million in salary cap space with Tuitt retiring. However, they have nearly $5 million in dead cap space this year and $4.75 million next year.

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