"These are tears of joy," Wilson said "Don't for a second do you all think that I'm pitying myself or sad because I got to live my dream. I'll set another dream and be great at that because I always look at trying to be great at whatever I do."
Wilson said he will always root for the teammates he played alongside and the coaches and Hall of Famers he got to learn from.
The 23-year-old said he was optimistic about his football career coming off neck surgery right up until Monday when doctors advised him of the risks of continuing to play.
Wilson said he hasn't nailed down what he will do in the future, but he lives by the adage that when one door closes, another opens.
"Even if one dream seems to fade away, set another goal and set another dream and try to reach that," he said. "That's the main thing. ... Life will knock you down sometimes."
You can watch Wilson's news conference below: