Former Giants LB Pierce opts to retire, become analyst for ESPN

Linebacker Antonio Pierce has retired from the NFL after nine seasons and is joining ESPN as an NFL analyst.

Pierce, who missed the final seven games of last season due to a neck injury, spent the past five seasons with the New York Giants and was released by the team in February. He was the Giants' defensive captain and helped the team defeat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

During an interview with NFL Network in late May, Pierce said he would need neck surgery to continue playing and was leaning toward retiring.

Pierce spent four seasons with the Washington Redskins before moving to the Giants. He played in 137 games, plus seven playoff games. He finishes his career with 687 tackles, nine sacks and seven interceptions.

He will appear on NFL Live, SportsCenter, ESPNEWS and 1050 ESPN New York.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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