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Lions cornerback Rashean Mathis retires

Detroit Lions v Atlanta Falcons

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Veteran cornerback Rashean Mathis has announced that he is calling it a career.

“It’s been a long 13 years, a great 13 years,” Mathis told the Lions’ website. “I think it’s time for me to hang up the cleats.”

Mathis said as soon as the 2015 season ended that he was thinking about retiring, although he added that the only coach he would even consider playing for is Jim Caldwell. Mathis is sorry to be saying goodbye to Caldwell and the Lions, but he thinks it’s time.

“My last three years in Detroit have been amazing for me,” Mathis said. “Being with Caldwell these last two years, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

The 35-year-old Mathis missed the last nine games of last season after suffering a concussion, but he said in announcing his retirement that he actually felt good about the way his career ended, saying that after suffering that season-ending concussion he shifted into more of a mentoring role with the younger players on the team.

Mathis played his first 10 NFL seasons with the Jaguars before playing the last three seasons with the Lions.