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Brian Cushing announces NFL retirement on Instagram

Aug 28, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans inside linebacker Brian Cushing (56) during a game against the Arizona Cardinals at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

After being informed he would be released by the Houston Texans, linebacker Brian Cushing has announced his retirement from the NFL.

The former NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year made the announcement on his Instagram account and included a lengthy, heartfelt caption.

A post shared by Brian Cushing (@brian56cushing) on

“For some reason you always think this day will never come. You wish you could play forever and never have to worry about not wearing that jersey again. Anyone who says that ‘it’s just a game,’ is full of s***. This is my lifestyle, my profession, my heart and soul. There wasn’t a day in 9 years I didn’t thank God for allowing me to compete as a Texan. You can say a lot of things about me, but I left it all out there every single Sunday. I would do anything to try and be out there for the fans and my teammates. It’s the ultimate team game where you have to love and trust all 11 guys on the field that their intention is to win and not let each other down. Thank you Houston for embracing me like a son from day 1. From getting married here to having both our boys born here. We couldn’t have asked for a better place to experience both of those life changing moments. It was the toughest yet best 9 years of my life. Thank you to the Mcnair family for drafting me here and changing my life forever. I could not have asked for better ownership, a family that truly cares about their players. Thank you to Rick Smith and Coach Kubiak for originally bringing me here and helping me grow up both on and off the field. Thank you Coach O’Brien and Brian Gaine for allowing me to continue to live out my dream. I apologize I wasn’t able to bring a super bowl to Houston, but I can tell you they are not far off. Once again thank you for an incredible 9 years and memories that will last a lifetime.”

Cushing was selected No. 15 overall out of USC by the Texans back in 2009. He made the Pro Bowl once and earned two second-team All Pro nods for his play.

He always gave 100 percent of himself on the gridiron and suffered through many injuries, once telling John McClain of the Houston Chronicle that he’s had over 20 surgeries over the course of his career.

Cushing finishes his NFL career with 674 combined tackles, 13.5 sacks, eight interceptions and a defensive touchdown to his credit.