Broncos LT Lepsis retires

DENVER (TICKER) Denver Broncos left tackle Matt Lepsis proved money is not the ultimate motivator among all NFL players.

A mainstay of the Broncos’ renowned offensive line, Lepsis has decided to retire, according to a report in Denver Post on Tuesday.

An 11-year veteran, the 33-year-old Lepsis leaves more than $9 million on the table from a four-year, $25 million contract extension he signed in March 2006.

Rather than just play out the length of his contract, Lepsis said it was time to move on because his play had been slipping.

“It is time for me to move on,” Lepsis told the Post. “I am completely sure this is the right thing to do.”

“Mike (Shanahan) would call me out for not playing very well, and I had to agree with him,” Lepsis said. “I’d say, ‘You’re right, I’m playing like crap.’ I didn’t want to go make all that money and not give the team what I was supposed to.

An undrafted free agent from Colorado, Lepsis signed with Denver in 1997 and emerged as one of the better tackles in the league.

Lepsis had his 2006 season cut short by a torn ACL in his right knee just seven games in, but said that the knee has not been a problem.

“I could definitely still go out and play a few more years, but that’s not what I wanted to do,” he said. “I wanted to go out on my own terms. I feel great about it.”

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Updated Wednesday, Jan 2, 2008