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Lions Cornerback Rashean Mathis To Retire

By Ashley Scoby

This isn't exactly the retirement announcement Lions fans have been waiting for with bated breath. But according to the Lions' team website, 35-year-old cornerback Rashean Mathis is stepping away from football.

"I think it's time for me to hang up the cleats," he said in the team website's video. "The lord has blessed me with a long career … so I think it's time. It's time for me to hang up the cleats."

Mathis has been contemplating retirement for a while now, alongside wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who announced he was thinking about his future in the game.

About halfway through the season, Mathis went to injured reserve with a concussion, which was initially misdiagnosed by the team as an illness. Instead of returning home to Jacksonville, Fla., Mathis stayed in Detroit with the team so he could be available to younger players for advice. But since then, he has been mulling whether or not he wanted to return to football.

"I've been teetering on the fence the last few years," he said. "I wanted to finish healthy. I wanted to finish on a good note. … I think my last three years in Detroit have been amazing for me. … And being with (head coach Jim) Caldwell the last two years, I couldn't ask for anything more to go off on a happy ending."

Mathis spent 10 years playing for the Jaguars after being drafted in the second round out of Bethune-Cookman.

After leaving Jacksonville, Mathis spent the last three seasons in Detroit. And although he plans on retiring back home to Florida, he says he was happy with his time in Michigan.

"If my career was to happen again, I would do the same thing," he said. "It would have been good to finish all 13 years in Jacksonville but I think experiencing something new in a locker room was a blessing for sure."

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