NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 20: Former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand (L) speaks with David Wright #5 of the New York Mets before a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field on August 20, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. LeGrand was paralyzed during a kickoff return in October 2010. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand has retired from the NFL after spending a few months on the roster as an undrafted rookie. LeGrand was never going to play a game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as the former Rutgers player spends his days in a wheelchair after being paralyzed from the neck down during a 2010 Rutgers game. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed LeGrand both as a gesture toward him, resulting from coach Greg Schiano long-standing relationship with LeGrand, and to let him serve as an inspiration to the rest of the team. Now, though, LeGrand is retiring to free up a roster spot. That doesn't mean his career with the Bucs is over, though.
"Making it to the NFL was my dream. But now I want to see my team as strong as possible at the start of Training Camp," said LeGrand. "I'm a Buc for life." LeGrand will undoubtedly make a few trips down to One Buccaneer Place in the future.
At least officially, though, this retirement marks the end of a great story for LeGrand and the Buccaneers. Keeping LeGrand on the roster for most of the offseason was one of the classiest moves any franchise has made this year, and it has helped re-build the Bucs' image in the community. Now they can work toward a Super Bowl, and hopefully LeGrand's presence has helped in some small way toward achieving that goal.