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NFL: Bears TE Jake Butt retires at age 26

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Chicago Bears tight end Jake Butt retired from the NFL, saying in a lengthy statement Thursday that he had lost passion for the game.

The 26-year-old Butt played collegiately at Michigan and rehabbed to return from six knee surgeries, which he said in a social media post sapped his desire to be on the field.

“Football gave me some of the best times of my life. Ironically, it also gave me some of my toughest times, which turned out to be the most important,” he wrote. “The adversity that I faced in my career gave me some of the biggest opportunities to grow as a man.”

Butt retires with 10 career receptions for 90 yards.

Butt was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the fifth round of the 2017 draft, but spent his rookie season on injured reserve recovering from a torn ACL in his final game at Michigan.

Three games into his second NFL season, he suffered another ACL tear.

“This may come off as impulsive,” Butt wrote. “Some may wonder, ‘Why now?’ when I was so close. But over time I’ve lost the passion that I once had for this game. I’ve battled through this feeling for a while now, but I can no longer ignore it.

“I will always cherish and love this game. It has given me some of my best memories, highest highs, my strongest friendships and my best lessons. But it’s time for me to close this chapter and move on to a new one.”

–Field Level Media

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