The neck injury that limited the Giants' Antonio Pierce to nine games last season has ended his career. But as one door closed for the loquacious linebacker, another opened for him to begin a new career as an NFL analyst for ESPN.
The sports network today announced the addition of Pierce, 31, who was released by the Giants in February. He will appear on ESPN's "NFL Live" today at 4 p.m. to discuss his retirement and his future. His ESPN job officially begins later this month. He will appear on a variety of platforms, including "NFL Live," "SportsCenter," "ESPNNews" and 1050 ESPNNewYork. He also will provide weekly analysis for ESPNNewYork.com.
"I am definitely going to miss the fans, the locker room talks, and the excitement of putting on a NFL uniform every Sunday," Pierce said in a statement. "I thank my family, friends, teammates, and fans for their support throughout my career and as I move in this new and exciting direction."
Pierce spent his first four seasons with Washington as an undrafted free agent before joining the Giants for the past five seasons. He led the Giants in tackles three times, was a three-year captain and made the Pro Bowl in 2006. His five-year totals with the Giants included 537 tackles (322 solo), seven sacks, six forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and four interceptions. Pierce also had 44 postseason tackles (28 solo).
After Pierce was injured last season, defensive end Justin Tuck described him as an invaluable presence in the huddle on the field because of his ability to recognize the offense and get the defense in the right position. Certainly, his leadership was missed.