"I also want to thank all of my coaches who I played for, in particular Coach Caldwell for his support, wisdom and guidance over the past two seasons. "There are so many other people I would like to recognize and thank for what they have done for me throughout my career, but rather than risk forgetting someone, I will simply say "thanks" to everyone. I so appreciated your passionate support over the years and truly enjoyed playing for you.
But he's chosen to walk away anyway, after nine seasons with the Detroit Lions.
Here it is in its entirety: "Let me begin by apologizing for making this announcement via a statement and not in person.
While I truly respect the significance of this, those who know me best will understand and not be surprised that I choose not to have a press conference for this announcement.
"With the reality of my decision, I realize there are a lot of people I would like to thank.
I must start with my family – thank you for all your love and support. Ford and the Ford Family for all their support over the years.
They are tremendous owners and I loved playing for them. Ford, who I was honored to know and play for before he passed away.
"While it would be hard to name them all, I would also like to thank all of my teammates past and present.
"After much prayer, thought and discussion with loved ones, I have made the difficult decision to retire from the Lions and pro football. "Let me assure you that this was not an easy or hasty decision.
As I stated, I, along with those closest to me, have put a lot of time, deliberation and prayer into this decision and I truly am at peace with it.
"I also want you to know that I have the utmost respect and admiration for the game of football.
It has provided so much for me and my family and I will be forever grateful to the game.