One of the most popular yet polarizing local sports figures of the 1990s and early 2000s, Kordell Stewart returned to Pittsburgh today to "retire" as a Steeler, nearly a decade after he last played for the team.
A second round draft pick in 1995, Stewart played eight seasons in Pittsburgh. He rose to fame during his first two seasons when he saw game action as a wide receiver, a quarterback, a running back and even a punter, earning him the nickname "Slash."
He became the team's starting quarterback in 1997, leading the team to the AFC Championship. In 2001, he was the AFC Offensive Player of the Year, the team MVP and a Pro Bowl selection.
Kordell retires a Steeler
Former quarterback Kordell Stewart annouces his retirement from football as a Steeler. (Video by Nate Guidry; 5/29/2012)
Stewart also was a target of rumors about his personal life and, according to him, death threats during seasons in which he struggled.
Of returning to Pittsburgh today for his "retirement," Stewart said: "It's not closure in a negative way, it's closure in a positive way ... I had a great time doing it. It's about the experience."
After leaving the Steelers, Stewart signed as a free-agent with Chicago in 2003 and played a season there before finishing his career with two seasons as a member of the Baltimore Ravens. He has since worked as an NFL analyst on ESPN. He resides in Atlanta with his wife and son.Former quarterback Mike Tomczak and tackle John Jackson also returned to "retire" as Steelers years after their playing careers ended.
First Published May 30, 2012 5:45 PM