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Former Dolphins LB Crowder abruptly announces retirement

MIAMI -- The NFL will be a bit quieter this season: Channing Crowder says he's retiring.

Crowder, one of the league's most notorious trash-talkers, said Tuesday he has decided to call it a career less than two weeks after being cut by the Miami Dolphins. The veteran linebacker made the announcement on WQAM-AM, where he has been a talk-show host.

"I know I can still play football," said Crowder, 27. "But I decided to hang it up. Now I'm not worried about icing my knees anymore or getting stingers or concussions. I did it long enough. I played football since I was 9 years old."

That included six NFL seasons, all in Miami, where Crowder developed a reputation as a jester and motormouth. For that reason, he conceded, his announcement might be met with skepticism.

"I'm not making a comeback," he said. "If somebody tells me I don't have to go through training camp and I can come in Week 1 and play -- but I don't see it."

After being released by the Dolphins, Crowder said, he tried out with the New England Patriots.

"It was just so weird," he said. "I went to their practice facility to work out, and I ran over the red dummies instead of the orange ones. I was so used to Miami, and I loved Miami so much."

Crowder said several other teams also expressed an interest in signing him, but he and his wife are expecting a baby, and he wants to remain in South Florida.

"I don't want to be jumping from team to team," he said. "Financially, we're stable. It's not there. I don't want to go."

Crowder's agent, Joel Segal, said he doesn't anticipate a change of heart for his client.

"I think Channing has made a permanent decision to retire and pursue a career in broadcasting," Segal said. "He's a passionate guy. He loves football. He loved playing for Dolphins. Once that chapter ended, I think he's ready to move on."

Crowder played at the University of Florida before being drafted by the Dolphins in the third round in 2005. He was a starter for Miami since his rookie season, winning praise for his leadership and toughness while drawing criticism for his failure to make more big plays.

The day after they released Crowder, the Dolphins signed veteran Kevin Burnett as a replacement at inside linebacker.

Last season, Crowder made 33 tackles in 11 games. He missed five games with injuries.

After Crowder was released, Dolphins players said they would miss his yakking, which always kept the locker room loose. He famously feuded with New York Jets coach Rex Ryan.

"A lot of teams we played either hated me or loved me," Crowder said. "You love the stuff I talked, or you hated it because I was talking it to you. But I have friends around the league that enjoyed it. It got me going when I played."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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