Odd and premature retirements

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5 Oct 1998: Running back Robert Smith #26 of the Minnesota Vikings in action during a game against the Green Bay Packers at the Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Vikings defeated the Packers 37-24.

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30-year old New Jersey Devils player Ilya Kovalchuk announced his retirement. He retires with $77 million and 12 years remaining on his contract. Here's a look back at some odd, abrupt or premature retirements by star athletes over the years.

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