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Redskins safety Ryan Clark, who just completed a one-year deal in his second stint with the team, announced his retirement today on ESPN, officially ending his impressive 13-year career in the NFL.
Clark, who had already appeared as an analyst for ESPN over the last few weeks, foreshadowed the announcement earlier today on Twitter.
He began his career as an undrafted free agent but made the Giants roster and played over 20 games for them before signing a two-year deal with the Redskins. He then joined the Steelers in 2006.
Clark started 109 regular season games for Pittsburgh, making six playoff appearances and two Super Bowls, XLIII and XLV.
He rejoined Washington on April 1 and would appear in 16 games with 15 starts in 2014, recording more than 100 tackles and grabbing an interception in the process.
After the Redskins final game of the season against the Cowboys, Clark didn’t shed too many emotions considering he may have played in his final professional game.
“When you retire, when you sign those papers and you know never get another opportunity to do it, then the emotions come,” he said at the time. “I would have to think that those emotions come more in late July, early August, when you got a ton friends who are getting ready to go play football and you’re not suiting up. I think that’ll be the time that it really hits you that you’re not doing it anymore.”
Clark provided a veteran presence for many younger defensive backs still learning the game but admitted that teaching them was just as fulfilling.
“I watched some of these kids grow up,” he said. “You got to see [Bashaud] Breeland, you got to see Phillip Thomas. I got to see 17 different new football players on defense get out there and have a good time. I enjoyed every second of it.”
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