Mark Zaleski, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker (10) looks for a receiver as San Diego Chargers free safety Eric Weddle (32) rushes in the first quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Quarterback Jake Locker is retiring from football rather than hit free agency after four NFL seasons with the Tennessee Titans. He says in a statement that he no longer has the "burning desire" needed to keep playing the game for a living.

The 26-year-old Locker wrote Tuesday in a statement released through his agent, Camron Hahn, that he decided to retire after talking with his family.

He says trying to keep playing without that desire for the game "would be unfair to the next organization with whom I would eventually sign." Locker says he knows his decision is surprising to many but he knows it's right in his heart.

The Titans drafted Locker with the eighth pick overall in 2011, but he dealt with injuries and was benched in October.

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