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Ex-Ravens kicker Stover retires, headed for Ring of Honor

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Former Baltimore Ravens kicker Matt Stover announced his retirement Thursday, ending a career that spanned two decades in the NFL.

A one-time Pro Bowl selection who provided much of the offense for the Ravens' Super Bowl championship team in 2000, Stover leaves the NFL as the No. 4 scorer in the league's history, with 2,004 points and 471 field goals. He's the Ravens' all-time leading scorer with 1,464 points.

"No regrets," the 43-year-old kicker said during a news conference at the Ravens' training complex. "I gave it all I had. I can look back at that and say I did all I could to be everything I could be."

Stover also ranks seventh in the league in field-goal accuracy, with an 83.7 percent success rate.

"Matt has been one of the most reliable Baltimore Ravens we've had in this franchise," general manager Ozzie Newsome said.

Stover will be inducted Nov. 20 into the Ravens' Ring of Honor at M&T Bank Stadium. He kicked for the Ravens for 13 years after spending the early portion of his career with the original Cleveland Browns before the team moved to Maryland in 1996.

"Being part of the Ring of Honor means I meant so much to my team and community," Stover said. "That is an awesome, awesome privilege. To be asked to be a part of that is the biggest honor I can receive."

Stover last kicked for the Indianapolis Colts as an injury replacement for Adam Vinatieri and made a field goal in their Super Bowl loss to the New Orleans Saints in February 2010. Stover didn't play last season.

Stover connected on 471 of 563 career field-goal attempts, making 354 of 418 attempts with the Ravens, and connected on 402 of 403 extra-point tries.

During the Ravens' Super Bowl season, Stover scored all of their points during a five-game stretch in which the offense failed to score a touchdown.

"We don't win that Super Bowl that year without Matt," Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said. "When you win a Super Bowl when you can't score a touchdown in October is quite a remarkable feat. To win two of five games that you don't score a touchdown is something that I don't think will ever be repeated in the NFL.

"We're allowed a little hero worship in Baltimore with our kicker."

Stover, a former Louisiana Tech standout selected in the 12th round by the New York Giants in the 1990 NFL Draft, signed with the Browns in 1991 as a Plan B free agent.

"He'll be revered in this town for as long as people talk about football," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "Every time I walk in the stadium, I'll see his name up there in the Ring of Honor, and I'll be hoping our kicker kicks just as well as he always did."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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