Jake Long announces retirement in heartfelt statement

Long, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, was elected to four Pro Bowls from 2008-11 and made first-team All-Pro in 2010.

Jake Long is hanging up his helmet for good.

The nine-year veteran offensive tackle announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday in a heartfelt statement posted on Twitter.

"As I continue with my recent rehab I realize that although my heart and mind still want to play, my body is telling me something completely different," Long wrote. "Mentally and physically I have given this game everything I possibly could. I love playing and will definitely miss it. But, I am so excited for the next chapter in my life and the opportunities that will come.

"I have an amazing wife, little daughter and another one on the way. Life is good! I am humbled and grateful for the amazing opportunities that football has provided me and my family. The teammates, coaches, lifelong friends, and special moments that I've been able to experience are priceless."

Long signed a one-year deal with the Vikings last October after Minnesota lost starting tackles Andre Smith and Matt Kalil to injured reserve. However, Long suffered a torn Achilles against the Redskins in Week 10 and was placed on injured reserve in November.

Long, who turns 32 next month, played college ball at Michigan before being selected by Miami with the first overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. He was elected to four Pro Bowls from 2008-11 and made first-team All-Pro in 2010 while playing for the Dolphins before several short stints with the Rams, Falcons and Vikings.

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