Washington Redskins offensive lineman Kory Lichtensteiger announced his retirement Friday, deciding not to return for a 10th NFL season.
The 31-year-old Lichtensteiger's career spanned across the 2008-16 seasons. He would have made $3.25 million in 2017, which will not count against the team's salary cap.
"After much thought and consideration, I have decided to retire from the National Football League," Lichtensteiger said in a statetment. "I am grateful beyond words to the Washington Redskins organization."
The 6-foot-2, 295-pound Lichtensteiger appeared in 93 regular-season games (75 starts) and started both postseason contests in which he appeared. He originally entered the NFL as a fourth-round pick of the Denver Broncos in the 2008 NFL Draft.
Lichtensteiger followed former head coach Mike Shanahan to Washington from Denver, joining the Redskins as a free agent on Jan. 11, 2010, after spending the 2008 season with the Broncos and a portion of the 2009 season with the Minnesota Vikings.
From 2010-16, Lichtensteiger appeared in 77 games with the Redskins, starting all but his first two contests with the team. From 2011-13, he started all 37 regular-season games in which he appeared at left guard before transitioning and starting 24 games at center across the 2014-16 seasons. At one point, he made 53 consecutive starts from the start of the 2012 season through Week 5 of the 2015 season.
"We want to congratulate Kory on a very successful career," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. "Kory has been a class act both on and off the field and worked tirelessly on becoming the best player he could possibly be. Kory defied the odds of being undersized because of his competitive spirit, accountability and attention to detail. It also helps to be tough as hell. We want to thank Kory for his relentless effort and leadership and wish him all the best in his future endeavors."
During the Redskins' NFC East championship campaign in 2012, Lichtensteiger's teammates honored him with the team's Ed Block Courage Award. That year, he returned to start all 16 games at left guard, less than a year removed from a multi-ligament knee injury that ended his 2011 season after only five games.
"I would like to thank the ownership as a whole and specifically Dan Snyder and his family for the opportunity to play the bulk of my career here in Washington," Lichtensteiger said in his statement. "I have had many great coaches and teammates and I owe a great deal to many people for helping me make a career in this league. For any newcomer or unestablished player to hang around, he has to have people who believe in him. I will forever be grateful to Mike Shanahan and Jay Gruden for giving me that trust.
"I want to say thank you to the wonderful fans of the Washington Redskins. My chapter is ending, but there are great things happening in the organization! There is a lot to be excited for and I am ready to join the already great fan base in cheering for this team! I want to thank the entirety of my family for all their unwavering support and love. Surely, none of this would have been possible without them. Thank you to my agent, who has been with me through good times and bad.
"Finally, I would like to thank (team president) Bruce Allen and (general manager) Scot McCloughan. When I came to them after the season and shared my thoughts, they were extremely gracious and agreed to let me to 'retire a Redskin.' This is a great business, but it is indeed a business. And for that reason, I am thankful to be treated as family in the final hour of my playing career. Hail to the Redskins!"