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Rucker to announce retirement after nine seasons

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers defensive end Mike Rucker will retire after nine seasons, finishing second on the team's all-time tackles list.

Rucker will announce his retirement at a news conference at Bank of America Stadium today at 1 p.m. ET, a team official said.

In February, Rucker decided he'd play for at least one more season. But the 33-year-old had second thoughts, and the Panthers decided not to re-sign him.

Rucker was Carolina's second-round pick in 1999 and quickly became one of the anchors of the defensive line. He ranks second in team history with 553 tackles and 55.5 sacks.

Rucker returned from a serious knee injury last season and finished with 57 tackles and three sacks.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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