Detroit Lions tackle Jeff Backus retires from NFL after 12 seasons

Backus thanks Detroit, coaches, teammates for their support over the years

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DETROIT - Detroit Lions tackle Jeff Backus announced Thursday afternoon that he has decided to retire from the NFL.

Backus, who has played for 12 seasons in the NFL, said he has come to the conclusion that it's time for him to hang up his cleats and retire.

"It's a bittersweet moment, but I'm content knowing I gave everything I had, played as hard as I could and tried my best to live up to the standards I believe in," said Backus in a statement.

Backus was drafted with the 18th pick in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Lions. He re-signed with Detroit on July 13, 2006, receiving a 6-year deal.

"I want to thank the Ford Family and the Detroit Lions for allowing me the privilege to represent the city of Detroit and play in the National Football League for the last 12 years," said Backus. "I also want to thank all of my coaches and teammates for all their support over the years."

Looking forward, Backus said he wishes the entire Detroit Lions organization and all Lion's fans the best.

"I will always be a Lion at heart," said Backus.

Backus also thanks fans, Coach Carr, everyone at University of Michigan and his family for their support and loyalty over the past decade.

"Most importantly, I want to thank my wife, my parents, my brother, all of my family and friends, and my agent Pat Dye Jr. Your unwavering support, guidance and sacrifices allowed me to follow my dream of playing in the NFL. I could never thoroughly explain how much that has meant to me," said Backus. "To my dad, you set the standards I live by. Your support and unbelievable perseverance motivates me daily to be the best that I can be."

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