ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills starting right tackle Brad Butler announced his retirement Thursday.
The news comes as a surprise to the Bills after Butler, who's 26, just completed his fourth NFL season.
Butler majored in government studies at Virginia, and he spent the 2008 offseason interning at Kemp Partners in Washington D.C. with late Bills quarterback and U.S. congressman Jack Kemp.
"My passion for education, country and community is something that I am ready to devote my full attention to," Butler said in a statement released by the team. "I believe the best way to pursue these spheres of interest is to step away from the game of football at this point in my life."
Butler started all but two of the 33 career games he played in after being drafted in the fifth round of the 2006 draft. He was limited to just two games in 2009 after sustaining a serious knee injury in Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press