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August 26, 2021

Former Eagle Stefen Wisniewski retires after a decade in the NFL

The Penn State grad and Pennsylvania native started at left guard for the Birds in their Super Bowl win against New England

After a decade of squaring off against professional defensive lineman in the trenches, Stefen Wisniewski is calling it quits. 

Wisniewski, a Pennsylvania native and two-time Super Bowl champ who spent three of his 10 years in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, announced his retirement from the game of football Thursday on social media.

"After 10 years, my body, my mind and my heart are telling me it's time to move on," Wisniewski said in a video posted to his Twitter account.

Wisniewski, 32, was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft after an All-American senior season at Penn State. He signed a one-year deal with Philadelphia in 2016, started six games that season and agreed to a three-year extension in 2017. 

During the Birds' run to a Super Bowl title, Wisniewski started 11 games, including the 41-33 victory over New England that brought the Lombardi Trophy to Philly. Two years later, he helped end another long championship drought, starting at left guard for the Kansas City Chiefs when they defeated San Francisco in Super Bowl LIV.

"Those experiences were absolutely amazing for me," Wisniewski said Thursday of his title runs with the Eagles and Chiefs. "I will treasure those memories forever."

He went on to say, "Seeing the intense joy on the faces of millions of fans during the Philly and Kansas City Super Bowl parades truly made those two of the best days of my life." 

Former coach Doug Pederson benched Wisniewski five games into the 2018 season in favor of Isaac Seumalo. At the time, Wisniewski said the demotion wasn't based on his play; Pederson, however, argued, "everything in this business is performance-based." Wisniewski would start the final three games of a 9-7 campaign after Seumalo was sidelined by an injury. 

The Eagles originally let Wisniewski walk into free agency in 2019 but re-signed him a few months later. When he put pen to paper in a tuxedo T-shirt, Wisniewski said he was "here to party on Broad Street in early February for another (Super Bowl) parade," but the Eagles cut him before the regular season started. Still, he ended up in a Super Bowl parade that February after he signed with the Chiefs in October of 2019. He ended his career with a an injury-shortened stint with his hometown Steelers followed by another brief run with the Chiefs in 2020. 

As for life after football, he's already found his next calling. 

"I'm gonna be a pastor," Wisniewski said. "The absolute best part of my life is my relationship with Jesus Christ, and I can't imagine a better full-time job than teaching people the Bible and sharing the love of Christ with others."