The 28-year-old suffered several concussions that derailed a once-promising career.
"I started thinking about concussions too much," Cameron told ESPN about his reason for walking away. "You can't play football like that."
Concussions, however, will prematurely end the 6-foot-5 target's career. After signing with the Miami Dolphins in 2015, Cameron compiled just 446 yards receiving on 43 catches the past two years. He played in just three games in 2016.
"If I didn't get concussions, I'd probably keep playing," Cameron said. "It's one of those things. I can't risk my mental health in the future. I don't have any symptoms now. I'm perfectly fine. But they can't tell me with 100 percent certainty that if I keep playing and I get more concussions, that I'm going to be OK.
"I'm not risking that at all. There's nothing more important than your health. It's just not worth it to me."
The tight end told ESPN a neurologist cleared him to play but he decided the risks outweighed the rewards.
Cameron cited his family, particularly his son Tristin, who turns eight years old this weekend, as the reason for retiring.
"I want to be there for him," Cameron said. "And I want more kids, and I want to be present with them. I don't want them dealing with things that we've seen some other guys are dealing with."
Cameron finishes his career with 173 receptions, 2,046 yards and 14 touchdowns in 66 games.