Former Pitt star Dion Lewis is set to retire from the NFL after a 10-year career, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. The move comes despite recent interest from NFL teams and brings an end to a career that included a Super Bowl win with the New England Patriots.
The 5’8”, 195-pound running back began his career with the Philadelphia Eagles after the team selected him with the No. 149 overall pick in the fifth round of the 2011 draft. The move saw Lewis join a corps of running backs led by his predecessor at Pitt, LeSean McCoy, but his stay in Philadelphia would be brief.
In April 2013, Lewis was traded to the Cleveland Browns. But after suffering a fractured fibula in a preseason game against the Detroit Lions, he was placed on the injured reserve list in July 2013 and was cut by the team the following month. The Pitt alum also signed with the Indianapolis Colts for a week in September 2014, but he was released before ever taking the field for the team.
The peak of Lewis’ career came after he signed with the New England Patriots in 2015 and became a secondary option at running back behind LeGarrette Blount. That led to a three-year run during which Lewis appeared in two Super Bowls and won a championship for the first and only time in his career, as he helped the Patriots overcome a 28-3 deficit in Super Bowl LI to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28.
From there, Lewis would ascend to the top of the Patriots’ running back committee in 2017, running for a career-high 896 yards and six touchdowns and adding another score on a 103-yard kick return on Sunday Night Football. But that season would end with a 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII.
In 2018, Lewis joined the Tennessee Titans and signed a $19.8 million contract. The deal would be the most lucrative of his career, and at the time, it placed him among the 10 highest-paid running backs in the NFL. However, Derrick Henry, who had enjoyed only modest success up to that point, had a breakout year in 2018, and as a result, Lewis never played the starring role his contract suggested he would.
The Titans would cut Lewis in 2020, and later that year, he would sign with the New York Giants. However, Lewis’ stint in his home state would be generally viewed as unsuccessful, as he ran for just 115 yards and two touchdowns on a team that struggled to a 6-10 record.
Over a 10-year career, Lewis accrued 5,678 all-purpose yards and 22 touchdowns, including 2,425 rushing yards and 13 rushing scores. The Pitt product also earned $16.9 million in his career, with the bulk of his earnings coming from his 2018 contract with the Titans.
Before embarking on his pro career, Lewis distinguished himself as one of the best running backs in Pitt's history. Although he only played at Pitt from 2009 to 2010, Lewis ran for 2,860 yards and 31 touchdowns, with 1,799 of those yards coming in 2009 alone. He ranks sixth all time in career rushing yards at Pitt, and his 2009 rushing total ranks second only to Tony Dorsett's 2,150-yard season in 1976.