Former Jets Nose Tackle, NFL All-Pro Retires After 9 Seasons

Damon Harrison Jets

Getty Ex-New York Jets nose tackle Damon Harrison celebrating with his former teammate Sheldon Richardson.

It is always sad when someone decides to hang up their cleats for the final time, but it is also a joyous occasion and provides an opportunity to take a glance back at their career.

On Saturday afternoon longtime NFL nose tackle and former New York Jets stud, Damon Harrison announced his retirement from the National Football League.

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Hollywood Script That Seems Too Cheesy to Be Real

The 32-year-old initially entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of William Penn back in 2012.

Harrison chose to sign with the Jets and was sparingly used as a rookie only playing in five games.

Although other circumstances opened the door of opportunity. Longtime Jets stud Sione Po’uha was released by the team and Gang Green draftee Kenrick Ellis suffered an injury in the preseason.

Harrison earned the starting job and never looked back. He ended up playing in 53 games for the Jets and started in 48 of those including three seasons in a row from 2013 through 2015.

During that run, he affectionately earned the nickname “snacks” from then Jets defensive line coach Karl Dunbar and ex-head coach Rex Ryan.

“Dunbar used to put Rice Krispies Treats on my desk in the meeting room, just to see if I’d eat them,” Harrison recalls via Sports Illustrated. “In the beginning, I would, but then I saw he was sending me a message telling me I needed to lose weight. So I would get them and I would put them on other people’s desks. So then I stopped eating the Rice Krispies and I would come in there with like sandwiches or salads or something.”

After a great time with the Jets, Harrison became a free agent and earned a big-money deal from the cross-town rival New York Giants to the tune of five years and $46 million.

After two and a half years with Big Blue, he was traded to the Detroit Lions for a 2019 fifth-rounder.

Snacks finished his career off with the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks in 2020 chasing that elusive Super Bowl championship.

Hollywood Script That Seems Too Cheesy to Be Real

The average NFL career is 3.3 years for any player, the fact that Harrison carved out a nine-year run in the big leagues is inspirational.

While he only played for the Jets in four of his nine years, without the green and white taking a chance on him, there’s no guarantee Harrison would’ve had the remarkable career he ended up having.

Snacks never had the gaudy stats of an Aaron Donald type, but the respect he earned around the league spoke louder than those ever could.

He finished with 11 sacks, 10 pass deflections, five forced fumbles, and over 494 combined tackles.

Harrison was a dominant force against the run and a key member of the “sons of anarchy” talented Jets defensive line.

That unit featured guys like Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, and the aforementioned Harrison.

A fun-loving Lousiana boy born and raised that became the emotional leader of the Jets in the post-back-to-back AFC Championship era. Those Jets defenses were exotic, fun, and were teams that will remain in fans’ memories forever.

Regardless of all the other places that Harrison played during his NFL career, he will always be remembered and honored for his time with the green and white.

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