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Running back Rashard Mendenhall retiring after six NFL seasons

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NFL: St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals
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Dec 8, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall (28) against the St. Louis Rams at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Six years was enough for Rashard Mendenhall.

The Cardinals running back, who is better known for his time with the Steelers, wasn't a great back after tearing his ACL two years ago but he still could have collected more NFL checks. The Cardinals inexplicably gave him 217 carries last year, and some other team would have employed the free agent.

But Mendenhall is done with football. At just 26 years old, after six NFL seasons, he is retiring according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

That seems sudden, but not too surprising. In a Huffington Post column on Feb. 25, Mendenhall hinted he was ready to retire. He talked about having a religious vision the day after tearing his ACL.

"The journey I envisioned is the two years of rebuilding that would follow," Mendenhall said. "And as I write this, today is the day that the journey is over and I am fully at peace. Eagerly looking to a new way, which lies ahead."

Mendenhall was a former first-round pick of the Steelers, and played in a Super Bowl for Pittsburgh at the end of the 2010 season. He averaged just 3.2 yards per attempt last year but did score eight touchdowns. Mendenhall rushed for 4,236 yards and 37 touchdowns for his career, with his best output coming in 2010 when he had 1,273 yards and 13 touchdowns in Pittsburgh.

Again, he likely would have found NFL work and the large paychecks that go with that again. But apparently that's not what Mendenhall wanted anymore.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

 

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