Sapp told the Contra Costa Times that he phoned Raiders owner Al Davis with the news Thursday. The Raiders had no official comment, but coach Lane Kiffin hinted at Sapp's decision earlier this week.
Sapp, 35, was the quintessential "three technique" tackle during his 13-year career, lining up between the guard and tackle and splitting that gap. Few did it better than Sapp, who made seven Pro Bowls, won the AP Defensive Player of the Year award in 1999, and was a key cog in Tampa Bay's Super Bowl winning defense in the 2002 season.
"Every defensive tackle that's drafted in the top five is supposed to be the next [me]," Sapp said earlier this season. "All of them have that tag. ... I've played the game pretty well, so if I'm the standard by which [they'll] be judged, that's tough, because I'd like to relive that guy, too. He's a bad boy. He's dead now. I give you flashes of him every now and then but, nah, that guy was sick."
After having 10 sacks in 2006, Sapp wasn't as successful this season when he finished with only two. He was also part of a Raiders defense that struggled against the run, allowing a league-worst 4.8 yards per carry.
Sapp was no longer the every-down menace he was during his younger days in Tampa, but he could still pick his spots. In his final game against San Diego, Sapp shot through a gap and hit quarterback Philip Rivers' forearm before he could hand the ball off to LaDainian Tomlinson, causing a fumble. "You get a little older, you can see your weaknesses a little bit more and go about 45-50 plays now," Sapp said late in the season.