After working with three quarterbacks in an anemic offense this season, five-time Pro Bowl receiver Irving Fryar has called it a career.
The 36-year-old Fryar, who spent the last three seasons of his 15-year career with the Philadelphia Eagles, officially announced his retirement at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. He will play his 225th and final game Sunday when the Eagles host the New York Giants.
This game against the New York Giants will be my last game. I'm retiring," Fryar said. "It's been a long haul. It's time to do something else and spend more time with my family."
Nearly 15 years after the New England Patriots made him the top pick in the draft, Fryar ranks seventh all-time with 781 catches and eighth with 11,947 yards. He also has 77 touchdown catches, good for 14th all-time.
But this season has been especially frustrating for Fryar in an offense which has juggled three quarterbacks -- Rodney Peete, Bobby Hoying and Koy Detmer -- and produced a league-low 151 points, an average of 10 points per game. An Eagles receiver did not catch a touchdown pass this season until Week 13, when Detmer connected with Jeff Graham on a pair of scoring plays in a 24-16 loss at Green Bay.
Fryar made it clear that Philadelphia's miserable season contribted to his decision to retire.
"Coming into this year, I had a plan to play this year and next year," said Fryar. "But given the circumstances with the season going the way it has and the coaching change that will happen, I figured now is the time. Yes, I can go and play, but it would have to be somewhere else and I'm not going to do that."
| Philadelphia's Irving Fryar (80) will play one more game before calling it quits. (AP) |
After catching a combined 174 passes in his first two years with Philadelphia, Fryar has just 45 receptions for 520 yards and two touchdowns this season. He is the only player in the NFL to catch 50 or more passes in each of the previous eight seasons, but needs five receptions in Sunday's game to extend the streak.
Fryar signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Eagles in 1996 after spending three productive years with the Miami Dolphins. He immediately became Philadelphia's go-to guy, averaging 87 receptions and 1,256 yards while scoring 17 TDs in 1996 and 1997, both Pro Bowl seasons.
Fryar played his first nine years with New England and helped the Patriots reach Super Bowl XX in January 1986. While with the Patriots, he had his share of off-field troubles and was traded to the Dolphins for two draft choices after the 1992 season. Fryar changed his lifestyle, became an ordained minister and played in a pair of Pro Bowls in three seasons with the Dolphins.
The New Jersey native quickly became Dan Marino's favorite target in Miami, catching 199 passes for 3,190 yards in three years.
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