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Buccaneers C Ryan Jensen retiring after nine seasons in the NFL

Ryan Jensen's valiant effort to make it back to the field has ended in a bittersweet acceptance of reality.

The Buccaneers center is retiring from the NFL after nine seasons, and a decade spent in the league. He announced his decision Friday via social media.

"With any chapter in the book of life, there is always an ending," Jensen wrote. "The NFL chapter of my life is coming to a close. As this chapter closes and I reflect on every aspect of my career, it makes me proud. In the hard times and good, there is always something special to learn. 

"Retiring from the game you have loved from a very young age is always hard. I am excited for this next chapter and the new opportunities and challenges it will bring."

Jensen hasn't seen the field since the 2022 postseason, in which he defied odds in working back from a knee injury suffered in training camp to play in what was ultimately Tom Brady's final NFL game. That knee continued to cause him trouble, though, forcing the Buccaneers to place him on injured reserve in August 2023.

At the time, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Jensen had likely played his last snap in the NFL. Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht seemed to share that belief, keeping his focus on doing "as much as we can to get the knee better" instead of worrying about a potential timeline for return.

More than five months later, the expectation has become reality. 

Jensen walks away from football after a decade spent in the NFL, beginning with his arrival in Baltimore as a sixth-round pick in the 2013 draft. He earned one Pro Bowl nod in 2021 and won Super Bowl LV with the Buccaneers in the 2020 season.

Now, he'll have plenty of time to admire his hard-earned hardware as he decides on his next step in life.

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