Jacob Stolworthy of Independent reported Lincoln officially confirmed his departure at San Diego Comic-Con.
“This will be my last season playing the part of Rick Grimes,” he told the crowd, adding: “Hear me out, please. I love this show. It means everything to me. I love the people who make this show. I promise not to cry. I've done enough crying on screen. “I'm particularly fond of the people who watch the show. This has been the most extraordinary, amazing and beautiful experience of my career and made largely because of you guys and the relationship we have, here, with you.”
“This will be my last season playing the part of Rick Grimes. I love this show. It means everything to me. I love the people who make this show. I’m particularly fond of the people who watch this show. My relationship with Rick Grimes is far from over.” #AndrewLincoln#TWD#SDCCpic.twitter.com/htqC1ZOCZA
Paul Tassi of Forbes wrote he is hopeful for the next season of the show despite Rick's departure.
While I am not looking forward to Rick being off of The Walking Dead, I am kind of looking forwarding to seeing how Rick leaves The Walking Dead, given that it has to be totally outside the bounds of the comics, where he’s still running the show. My worst fear is that they sacrifice him to The Whisperers to recreate a horrifying comic moment, as I think he deserves better than that.