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Texans LB Wong retires after nine seasons

HOUSTON (May 16, 2007) -- Kailee Wong, a linebacker for the Houston Texans since their inception in 2002, retired after nine NFL seasons.

Wong finished his career with a Texans-record 15 sacks.

"I've had a good experience here in Houston," Wong said. "I'm very fond of this place with its fans. I am very honored to be one of the few Texans that have been here since the beginning and been a part of the franchise."

Texans general manager Rick Smith said Wong had discussed the possibility of retiring for several months.

"It was absolutely his decision," Smith said. "He's meant a lot to this organization and ... we certainly wanted to give him every opportunity to be a part of this."

The 30-year-old Wong appeared in 10 games last season after missing more than a year following knee surgery.

"Ultimately, I love this team," Wong said. "My decision has nothing to do with the organization. It truly is a personal decision."

Wong, a second-round pick out of Stanford in 1998, had 12 tackles in 2007.

"It's been a really tough day for me because that kid's special," coach Gary Kubiak said. "That's a big loss. I was really counting on him being part of our football team."

Wong spent his first four seasons in Minnesota, where he had a career-high 112 tackles in 2000. His best season with the Texans came in 2004 when he had 71 tackles, 5½ sacks and three interceptions.

"I wish I could have left this place where we had already been in the playoffs, but I do believe that this coaching staff under coach Kubiak and this team is going to bring the playoffs to this town," Wong said. "I'm remorseful that I'm not going to be part of it, but with where I'm at, it's best for me to move on."

Wong ends his career with 652 tackles, 21½ sacks and six interceptions.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2007, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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