The 35-year-old offensive lineman said Wednesday that he told Republican officials in Burlington County of his plans to challenge Democratic Rep. John Adler in New Jersey's 3rd District.
"I look forward to a successful end to my career on the field," Runyan said in a statement, "and a spirited campaign against Congressman Adler in 2010."
Runyan has not given interviews about his political ambitions or said much about his stance on issues. A previous statement mentioned the country was being taken in the wrong direction by career politicians "incapable of solving the problems we face."
The seat was held for more than two decades by Republican Jim Saxton, who retired last year.
Adler, who replaced him, is seen as vulnerable. He was a popular state senator, but is a Democratic first-term representative in a district that traditionally supports Republicans.
Adler voted against a health care overhaul bill this month, rousing opposition from the left. Adler's chief of staff, Jill Greco, said the Congressman is "not thinking about partisan politics or next year's election."
Runyan, who has played 13 seasons in the NFL for Houston, Tennessee and Philadelphia, was one of the more popular Eagles during his time with the team.
Three counties make up the 3rd District, which stretches from the Philadelphia suburbs to the shore.