Ex-Packers punter retires

Landeta played 25 seasons in professional football, including one season with Packers

On the 25th anniversary of the first game played in the United States Football League between the Philadelphia Stars and the Denver Gold, punter Sean Landeta officially retired from football Thursday. Landeta, who served as punter for the Green Bay Packers in 1998, made his professional debut in that USFL game.

Landeta became the final player from the USFL to retire.

"I chose this day for a good reason," said the 46-year old Landeta. "First, on this day in 1983 is when it all started for me. On this date in 1997, my son Joey was born. Retirement is just another great thing to happen for me on March 6. This will be a great day for me to remember throughout my lifetime. As far as my future is concerned, I've had the opportunity to stay close to the game through the media, personal appearances, and speaking engagements. Hopefully this will continue."

A native of Towson, Maryland, Landeta started his professional career with three seasons in the USFL (1983-85) starring for the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars. Landeta then joined the National Football League playing for the New York Giants (1985-93, and 2006), Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams (1993-96, and 2003-04), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1997), Green Bay Packers (1998), and Philadelphia Eagles (1999-2002, and 2005).

He played 25 seasons in professional football, including 22 in the NFL, and owns an unmatched streak of 17 straight seasons with a punting average of over 42-yards. Among NFL players with 1,000 career punts, he ranks second only to Rohn Stark on the NFL's all-time list with 43.3 yard average. As a punter, Landeta finishes behind only Jeff Feagles in games played (284), number of punts (1,401), punting yards (60,706), and punts inside the 20 (381). He is the all-time leading punter in terms of average (minimum 250 punts) for three NFL teams – Giants (43.4), Rams (44.1), and Eagles (42.8) – something no other punter in NFL history can claim. He led the NFL in net average in 1989 (37.8), inside the 20 punts in 1990 (24), gross average in 1994 (44.8), number of punts in 1999 (107), and punting yards in 2001 (4,221).

Landeta played on two USFL Championships with the Stars (1983 and 1984) and two Super Bowl Champions with the Giants (1986 and 1990). Over his 25 pro seasons, Landeta's teams made the playoff 15 times. Sean's individual honors include five all-pro selections, three first-team All-NFL honors, and two Pro Bowl berths following the 1986 and 1990 seasons; he was named the punter on the All-USFL team, the St. Louis Rams 10th Anniversary team, the Philadelphia Eagles 75th Anniversary team, and ESPN's 40th Anniversary Super Bowl team. Landeta was one of only eight players to be named to the NFL's all-decade team in both the 1980's and 1990's along with Reggie White, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice, Gary Zimmerman, Bruce Smith, Gary Andersen, and Morten Anderson.

Landeta played for 11 head coaches in his career including the following who have led their teams to Super Bowl appearances - Bill Parcells, Dan Reeves, Tony Dungy, Mike Holmgren, Andy Reid, Mike Martz, and Tom Coughlin.

Landeta recalled his season in Green Bay: "I really enjoyed the one year that I spent as a member of the Packers in 1998. To play in a city with such rich football history and be part of a team that had come off two Super Bowl appearances and made the playoffs again was very exciting. Their fans and my teammates were so great to be around and to spend a year in the town of Green Bay was something I'll always remember."

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