PITTSBURGH (KDKA)- Free agent linebacker Jason Worilds has announced that he is leaving football.

The former Steelers’ linebacker made the surprise announcement on Twitter Tuesday night.  It was just hours after the NFL free agency frenzy began.

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The 27-year-old  was drafted in the second round of the 2010 draft by the Steelers. He recorded 15.5 sacks over the past two seasons.

The Steelers used a transition tag on him last year, signing him to a one-year deal worth $9.75 million.

Worilds was one of the most sought-after free agent linebackers this off-season. Several teams were expected to make offers to Worilds, many predicting he could pull in between $15 and $20 million.

On Twitter, Worilds posted these statements: “I appreciate all of the interest from the organizations that have reached out to us the past few days. With that being said, after much thought & consideration I have chosen to step away from football as I have opted to pursue other interests.”

Worilds went on to say: “Despite any concern and speculation that may ensue, I appreciate those that are respectful of my decision.”

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“The Fan Morning Show” interviewed the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Steelers beat writer Mark Kaboly about Worilds’ decision to retire Wednesday morning.

“I don’t think any of us really know what exactly is going on right now,” Kaboly said. “I think this was a recent development.”

Kaboly briefly talked to Worilds via text message shortly after the announcement was made.

“Basically, not sure if he is going to explain exactly why he’s decided to do this. Have to give the guy some space, eventually he might say it,” Kaboly said.

Listen to the interview here:

Ed Bouchette joined the “KDKA Morning News” with Larry Richert and John Shumway to discuss Worilds’ announcement as well.

When asked if there was any indication of it happening, Bouchette said no.

“Nobody (saw this coming), nobody, and you have to believe it’s true because if it were a negotiating tactic it’s not a very good one,” he said.

Listen to the full interview here:

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