James Laurinaitis announces his retirement

James Laurinaitis announced his retirement after eight NFL seasons.

The second-round pick by the Rams in 2009 wrote on Twitter that his body was telling him it was time to box up the shoulder pads.

"With offseason programs starting back up, the thing I'm going to miss the most is the locker room," Laurinaitis wrote. "The conversations and relationships I built with all that I've battled with will be my favorite memories. Players, coaches, equipment staff, medical staff, community outreach, marketing, you name it, the people I've met through this game is what I'll take with me. I've been blessed way more through the game of football than I could've ever imagined. I've been able to live my dreams that started as a 4th grader and I'm grateful. Thank you to the Rams organization for drafting me and giving me the opportunity to pursue my dreams! You gave me a chance to play the game I love for 7 years and I gave you everything I had St. Louis. Thank you to the Saints organization for the ability to play one last year. Thanks to the best agency in sports CAA and especially Tom Condon, RJ Gonser, Howard Skall, Tommy Jr. and Heather Grosz. To all the fans along the way, thank you for your support through the years. I still love the game but the body says it's time to move on. I'm really looking forward to transitioning into what's next with my beautiful wife and daughters."

The award-winning linebacker at Ohio State was a tackling machine in his first seven seasons with the Rams. Starting from the first game of his career, Laurinaitis never earned fewer than 109 tackles in St. Louis. In 2015 he set the franchise's all-time tackling record.

He was released by the Rams in 2016. He landed with the New Orleans Saints, but appeared in just five games before suffering an injury. He was waived by the Saints with an injury settlement.

Laurinaitis ends his pro career with 869 tackles, 16.5 sacks, 35 passes defended and 10 interceptions.

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