Luke Willson worked out for the Seahawks on Monday and signed to rejoin the team Tuesday. The Seahawks released him a day later, and the veteran tight end has subsequently announced his retirement.
Willson will wrap his career after eight seasons. He revealed Wednesday, via Twitter, he dealt with a heart issue this offseason — a severe pericardial effusion, which is a fluid buildup around the heart — that required a lengthy hospital stay. After one day back with the Seahawks, the 31-year-old veteran reversed course and called it quits. The Seahawks released Willson after he informed the team of his retirement plans Tuesday night, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com tweets.
A fifth-round Seahawks pick in 2013, Willson played in 96 games (counting playoffs) for the team. While not known as a pure receiving tight end, Willson caught 11 TD passes during his first Seattle stint. The Rice alum added a playoff touchdown as well, scoring from 25 yards out in the Seahawks’ divisional-round win over the Panthers in 2014. Willson totaled four catches for 68 yards in that 31-17 Seattle win. A week later, Willson’s two-point conversion grab helped the Seahawks erase a 16-point second-half deficit against the Packers en route to Super Bowl XLIX.
The Seahawks are currently down Colby Parkinson, who suffered a foot fracture for the second straight year, but have Gerald Everett and holdover Will Dissly at the position. Willson was to provide depth, a role he played in 2019 and at the end of last season.
Willson caught on with the Lions in 2018 and joined the Raiders in 2019, receiving some Hard Knocks screen time. After the Raiders released him, he wound up back with the Seahawks. After a Ravens deal in 2020 also led to a release, he ended up playing his final games as a member of the Seahawks last season.