Antonio Pierce will retire rather than have neck surgery

Turns out the neck injury that sidelined linebacker Antonio Pierce last season might be more serious than anyone ever let on to.

Pierce told NFL Network that he would require surgery on the neck in order to continue playing and that instead he plans to retire from the game at 31. Pierce spent the last five seasons with the New York Giants, winning a Super Bowl championship and emerging as a leader of their defense. He also found himself smack dab in the middle of the Plaxico Burress mess after he took the gun Burress used to put a tunnel through his own leg.

Pierce missed seven games last season with what was described as a bulging disc in his neck. The Giants released him in February instead of paying him $4.75 million this season and waiting for him to recover from a surgery it looks like he will not undergo at this point.

Pierce earned far more money than the vast majority of players in the NFL ever do and he leaves with a Super Bowl ring. Having his health is even more significant.

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