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Cardinals tight end makes surprising retirement announcement

Arizona Cardinals tight end John Carlson added his name to the early retirements in the NFL this offseason.

After seven years in the league, the 30-year-old Carlson announced Tuesday that he’s stepping away from the game. He had one year remaining on a two-year, $4.65 million contract he signed in 2014.

The announcement apparently came as a surprise. He did not give a reason for his departure. Carlson had worked out with the team on Monday.

“After much thought and consideration, my wife Danielle and I know that this is best decision for us,” Carlson said. “I was blessed to play seven seasons in the NFL for three tremendous organizations — the Cardinals, Vikings and Seahawks. I will always treasure the experiences and relationships made during that time, but I’m also very excited about the next phase of my life and what’s ahead.”

The 6-foot-5, 248-pound Carlson played in 16 games and started 12 for the Cardinals last season and caught 33 passes for 350 yards and one touchdown.

Picked in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame, Carlson started 64 of 80 career games with the Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings and Cardinals, finishing with 210 receptions for 2,256 yards and 15 touchdowns.

His best years came in his first two seasons with the Seahawks, when he caught 106 passes for 1,201 yards and 12 touchdoowns.

With Carlson out of the mix, the Cardinals are expected to turn to Troy Niklas, a second-round pick draft last year from Notre Dame, and Darren Fells, who played in 10 games last year.

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