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Official: Linder retires


JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars' most-tenured player has called it a career.

Brandon Linder, the Jaguars' starting center since 2014, officially announced his retirement Monday morning. The team announced the retirement Monday.

Linder served a team captain for the past five seasons.

Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke in a statement congratulated Linder and his family congratulations "on a fantastic NFL career."

"Brandon spent the entirety of his career here in Jacksonville and earned the respect of his teammates, the fans and everyone within the Jaguars organization," Baalke said. "He became the first player in franchise history to earn the distinction of a gold jersey patch representative of being a five-time captain.

"Off the field, he represented the team with pride as an ambassador in the community. For everything he's contributed both on and off the field, we thank him and wish him and his family the best in retirement."

Linder, a third-round selection by the Jaguars in the 2014 NFL Draft, started 88 games in eight seasons with the Jaguars – starting every game of his career in which he was played. He played nine games each of the last two seasons, starting 88 of 129 possible games.

"To the city of Jacksonville: Eight years ago, you welcomed me like a family member and have continued to support me unconditionally," Linder said in a statement. "I have grown to love this city, where I have put down roots with my family, made lifelong friends, and cultivated my passion for the outdoors. After much reflection, I have realized that the man I currently aspire to be is no longer aligning with the person I must become to play this game. It is at this time that I have decided to close this chapter of my life and retire from the NFL.

"I started playing football when I was seven and I have always played with my whole heart for the opportunity to win. I have spent most of my life sacrificing my body, mind, and time in order to fulfill my dreams. I am beyond grateful for the opportunities that were presented to me and all the doors that have opened because of football. I have learned valuable life lessons and have had many unforgettable experiences that I will cherish forever. I am thankful to my teammates, coaches, family, and friends for helping me grow in the sport and support me in becoming a master at my craft.

"To my teammates, I want to thank you for sacrificing yourselves entirely to the sport. The experiences that we have gone through together is why the brotherhood that we have created is so special. I will miss that the most. I am grateful to be able to fulfill my goal of retiring a lifetime Jaguar. Jacksonville will remain my home.

"I am excited to chase new dreams and I'm looking forward to all of the great things to come in the future."

Check out a selection of photos from Brandon Linder's NFL career in honor of the Jaguars offensive lineman's retirement.