Veteran wide receiver Wayne Chrebet, who turned great hands, persistence, toughness and guile into a standout 11-year career with the New York Jets, will officially announce his retirement on Friday afternoon.
Chrebet had acknowledged earlier this spring that the 2005 season was his last and it was simply a matter of choosing a time to make his departure official.
One of the NFL's premier possession wide receivers over the course of his career, Chrebet, 32, was beset by recurring concussions the last several seasons, and that ultimately led to his decision to step away from the game. Chrebet appeared in only eight games in 2005, and he registered just 15 receptions for 153 yards and no touchdowns.
All of those statistics were career lows for him.
Over the last three seasons, with the concussions particularly troubling in 2003 and 2005, Chrebet appeared in only 31 contests, with just six starts. Last year marked the only season in his career in which he did not start a single game. In 2004, although he played in all 16 games, he started just one. Because of the concussions, Chrebet nearly retired last spring.
Originally signed by the team in 1995 as an undrafted free agent from Hofstra, where the Jets hold their training camp and have their permanent complex, Chrebet overcame modest physical skills and average speed to earn a roster spot. As a rookie, he notched 66 receptions for 726 yards and four touchdowns.
He posted seven seasons of 50 or more receptions and four of 60-plus catches. In 1996, his second season in the league, Chrebet had a career-best 84 receptions. Two years later, he had 75 catches for a career-best 1,083 yards. For his career, Chrebet finished with 580 catches for 7,365 yards and 41 touchdowns.
Chrebet's career average, 12.7 yards per catch, was reflective of his medium-range abilities. He typically worked out of the slot, usually drawing single coverage, but also having to deal with the congestion in the middle of the field. But the fearless 5-feet-10, 188-pounder was a wily receiver who had a knack for finding an open spot in the middle of a zone, and of moving the chains, and he also made more than his share of acrobatic grabs.
Of his 580 receptions, 379, or 65.3 percent, resulted in first downs or touchdowns. Although he had just nine receptions of 40 or more yards, Chrebet totaled 98 receptions of 20 yards or more in his career.
He appeared in 152 games and logged 104 starts.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.