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Robert Mathis.

Indianapolis Colts star Robert Mathis announces retirement

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When the Indianapolis Colts end their 2016 season on New Year's Day at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars, it will mark the end of an era.

Star pass rusher Robert Mathis will retire after the game, ending his 14-year NFL career with the team that drafted him.

Since being selected in the fifth round of the 2003 NFL Draft out of Alabama A&M, Mathis has been a fixture in the Colts' lineup, amassing 122 career sacks, 524 tackles, 51 forced fumbles and 16 fumble recoveries.

An emotional Mathis announced his retirement on Instagram on Friday evening, declaring himself a "Colt for life" in the below video:

Mathis has not only been a star -- he's been durable, too. Outside of the 2014 season, where he served a four-game suspension and then missed the rest of the year with a torn Achilles, he's appeared in at least 12 games every year.

As the 35-year-old pass rusher continues to play, though, he told ESPN.com he doesn't want to wait until he physically can't play anymore to call it quits:

"It's time to step aside," he said. "Game has been good to me. I want to pay it forward. I want to leave it better than I found it. And injuries, I want to walk away. I don't want to limp away. Rest of my body goes to my kids."

With his 122 career sacks, Mathis is tied for 18th all-time with Simeon Rice. He has four sacks and two forced fumbles this season.

Mathis's best season came in 2013, when he recorded 19.5 sacks and forced eight fumbles for the 11-5 Colts.

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Topics:
AFC South
Indianapolis Colts
NFL
NFL Playoffs
NFL Draft
AFC

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