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Veteran linebacker Junior Seau retires

Aug. 14, 2006 at 11:44 PM

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Longtime standout San Diego and Miami linebacker Junior Seau retired Monday from the National Football League.

"The real blessing for today is that I'm graduating," Seau said. "I'm graduating today to know that the true blessing is knowing me. It took me 16 years to get there."

It officially marked the end to a career that included 12 consecutive Pro Bowl selections.

"I will never disrespect that (Hall of Fame) fraternity that sits before us by talking about me being a part of that," Seau said. "That's not my role. It's not part of my language. I respect those guys too much to be talking about Junior and Canton, Ohio."

Seau spent the first 13 years of his career with San Diego after the Chargers made him the fifth overall pick of the 1990 draft. The Southern California alum led the team in tackles in eight of his first 10 seasons.

The Dolphins acquired the veteran linebacker in 2003 in exchange for a conditional draft choice and Seau earned yet another Pro Bowl selection that season. Injuries hampered him over the final two years of his career.

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