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Super Bowl 49 Champion Bryan Stork Retires from NFL at 26 Years Old

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2017

FOXBORO, MA - MAY 15:  Bryan Stork from Florida State, a fourth-round draft selection, speaks to the media during the New England Patriots Rookie Minicamp  at Gillette Stadium on May 15, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Offensive lineman Bryan Stork officially announced his retirement from the National Football League on Tuesday after sitting out the 2016 season.

Stork confirmed his decision on social media, stating it's not a true retirement since he's just 26, but concluding his time playing the game of football is over:

Bryan Stork @CoachBStork

https://t.co/fYoqN9Eyy3

Stork was set to get traded from the New England Patriots to the Washington Redskins during the 2016 preseason after he'd lost his grip on a starting job with the Pats due David Andrews' emergence. He failed his physical, however, and was released after the traded was voided.

Mike Jones of the Washington Post reported the center informed Redskins officials he was considering retirement even before the deal. He ultimately decided to report to the organization with an eye toward continuing his career.

His final weeks with the Patriots featured some concerning moments, though.

Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reported the lineman was kicked out of a joint practice with the Chicago Bears after a scuffle with Bears linebacker John Timu. Reiss described the situation as "putting both hands into Timu's breastplate and pushing him with force before swinging his arms at Timu."

Stork's health was also a question mark. Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald noted he suffered a concussion during the early stages of last season's training camp. It marked four straight years, dating back to his time at Florida State, he'd suffered at least one concussion.

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In 2014, he told Emily Johnson of WCTV his father's death from colon cancer in 2008 provided him with the motivation to reach football's highest level.

"The day he died I cried for 20 minutes and then I moved on, because I knew he was in a happier place, I'm like why am I crying there's no point," Stork said. "It was hard to watch your dad go from a 205 solid pound guy to a 135-140, you know, just skinny old man."

Stork enjoyed a memorable start to his time in the NFL as the Patriots won the Super Bowl during his rookie campaign. The title came after he won a BCS National Championship with the Seminoles as a senior.

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