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Ryan Swope, Cards rookie, retires due to concussions

Ryan Swope fell to the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft because of concerns about his concussion history at Texas A&M. Those concussions sadly ended Swope's NFL career before it started.

The Arizona Cardinals announced Thursday that Swope was placed on the reserve/retired list. Coach Bruce Arians admitted in June that the team didn't expect the wide receiver's concussion issues to linger into the offseason. NFL Network's Mike Mayock said during the draft that Swope suffered four concussions in college, and he suffered a setback after joining the Cardinals.

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"We knew Ryan has a concussion history in college and understood that it could possibly be an issue," said Cardinals general manager Steve Keim in a statement released by the team. "But weighing all the elements -- the medical information available, the particular position in the draft -- it was a decision we were comfortable making. As it turned out, he had a setback after he got here. Over the course of the subsequent evaluations, we all decided that Ryan's long-term well-being was the No. 1 priority and this was the best course to take."

As we learned when Jahvid Best recently retired, it's a new era in the NFL. Teams and doctors are being more cautious than ever with concussions, and that is a great thing. Even if it's a devastating development for Swope.

It was a busy day for the Cardinals, who signed offensive tackle Eric Winston and defensive end John Abraham. They also announced the surprising release of O'Brien Schofield, a starter at outside linebacker last season.

UPDATE: Swope released a statement Thursday night through his representation, Rep1 Sports:

"As a result of a concussion I suffered during OTAs, I was advised by doctors that there were serious risks in returning to play football at this point. It has been a lifelong dream to play in the NFL but my long-term health interests outweigh my current goals for football. Because of that, I am electing to retire from the game for now and then reassess my future after this season. In the meantime, I plan to return to Texas A&M to pursue my degree."

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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