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Why Rashard Mendenhall Retired So Young

Running back Rashard Mendenhall retires
Norm Hall, Getty Image Sport

A bit of a surprising retirement out of the NFL as 26-year-old running back Rashard Mendenhall has decided to call it a career.

He didn’t hold an official news conference, instead taking to the internet where he wrote – Why I Retired At 26 – found at, dated Sunday March 9:

I feel like I’ve done it all. I’ve been to two Super Bowls; made a bunch of money; had a lot of success; traveled all over the country and overseas; met some really cool people; made lasting relationships; had the opportunity to give back to causes close to my heart; and have been able to share my experiences and wisdom with friends, family and people all over the world. Not to mention all the fun I had goofing around at work day after day with my teammates! I’m thankful that I can walk away at this time and smile over my six years in the NFL, and 17 total seasons of football — dating back to when I started pee-wee ball at Niles West in 1997, when I was 10. These experiences are all a part of me, and will remain in my heart no matter what I do, or where I go.

He says he’d like to spend sometime traveling the world and writing.

The Steelers’ 2007 first-round pick, Mendenhall had back-to-back solid seasons with Pittsburgh in 2009 and 2010. He was less effective in 2011 and tore his ACL in the regular season finale.

After playing in just six games for the Steelers in 2012, the Illinois-product signed with the Arizona Cardinals for the 2013 campaign where took the bulk of the team’s carries finishing with 687 yards and eight touchdowns.

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