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Yeremiah Bell, former Dolphins, Cards safety, to retire

Yeremiah Bell started 64 consecutive games the past four seasons, including 16 in 2013 as an every-down safety in the Arizona Cardinals' menacing defense.

However, the 36-year-old free agent strong safety told The Winchester (Ky.) Sun this week he's hanging up his cleats.

"I'm done (with playing football)," Bell said. "It's not official because my agent hasn't turned in the papers yet but within myself, I've played my career (in the NFL)."

The 10-year veteran, drafted in the sixth round by the Miami Dolphins in 2003, said he contemplated retirement the last couple of years. He said he could have still played but wanted to spend more time with his family.

"Football is a brutal sport and some guys stay with it until the league kicks them out but I felt like this way, the choice is strictly on me and I'm happy with it," Bell said. "Everybody else is a little more tore up about me not playing than I am because that's what I'm been doing my whole life.

"I'm happy to be home and where I'm at. I love Kentucky and my family. That's big for me."

Bell spent eight seasons with the Dolphins, one with the New York Jets and last year with the Cardinals. In 10 seasons, he had a combined 726 tackles, 13 sacks and eight interceptions -- including two picks last year.

Bell said he plans to take a year off before getting into coaching.

The announcement ends one of the most unique NFL stories of a kid who worked at a steel mill before getting his shot on the gridiron.

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