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Physical toll too much for Seahawks DE Kerney, who says he'll retire

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Patrick Kerney will retire after all.

Two months ago after saying that he had "a couple good ones" left in him, Kerney cited the physical wear and tear on his body as a reason to call it quits after 11 NFL seasons.

"Despite the desire to continue my career, I am retiring from professional football," Kerney said Tuesday in a statement released by the Seahawks. "The toll that has been taken on my body will no longer allow me to train, and hence, perform, at a level that is acceptable to me. It has been a privilege to work for two first-class organizations that are supported by passionate, inspirational fans. I cannot express enough gratitude to all who have supported me throughout my career."

Kerney, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, played eight seasons with the Atlanta Falcons before signing with the Seahawks in 2007. He had a career-high 14.5 sacks that season and was selected the NFC Defensive Player of the Year. However, injuries limited Kerney's role the past two years, and he managed just 10 sacks in 22 games.

Kerney had surgeries on his left shoulder following the 2008 and 2009 seasons. He played an NFC playoff game at Green Bay in January 2008 essentially with one arm. This past January, he had surgery on his elbow.

Kerney was renowned among his teammates for the gadgets he used to recover from and prepare for games. He spent many hours each week inside a $1,2000 hyperbaric chamber and sprawled on silver-lined "earthing" sheets that are purported to speed the recovery of tissues. Immediately before regular-season games, he amped up the settings on the electric stimulation machine he used in the locker room to fire up his adrenal glands.

Kerney finishes his career with 82.5 sacks, a significant total for someone who spent most of his career playing left defensive end.

Kerney's retirement could affect the Seahawks' draft plans because they now could be in the market for a defensive end. Seattle holds the No. 6 and No. 14 picks in the first round.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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