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Schobel calls it quits

Aaron Schobel's NFL career is over. The former Bills star defensive end said Monday that he will retire. He plans to make it official by filing his retirement papers to the league office as soon as he receives them from his agent.

Schobel spent the entire offseason trying to decide whether to return for a 10th season. The Bills gave him until the start of training camp to let them know what his intentions were. When he didn't give them an answer, the Bills on Aug 4.

Schobel had other teams interested in his services, particularly the Houston Texans, who are near his home in Columbus, Texas. But after mulling his options, he decided that he had enough.

"I was tired of going back and forth with everything, so on Friday I made up my mind that I was done with football,'' Schobel said. "I just don't want to do it any more. I'm going to be 33 in a couple of weeks. It's a young man's game.''

Family was a big reason for his retirement. He talked about missing out on special moments like his children's birthday parties and holidays because he had to be at practice or traveling games. He and his wife, June, also didn't want their three kids having to split the school year in two cities.

"We thought about playing for Houston because it was a good situation,'' Schobel said. "But my kids at an age where they're starting to make friends, so it wouldn't been fair to take them away from all that. They're happy we're not moving.''

In addition to wanting to stay close to home, Schobel said he was tired of the physical toll football put on his body. Although he was productive last season with 10 sacks, he didn't feel like he could do certain things on the field that used to come so easy to him.

Schobel left a lot of money on the table by not reporting to Buffalo. He had four years left on a $50.5 million contract extension he signed with the Bills in 2007. He was due to make $6.025 million in base salary this season and would have received another $2 million by showing up at Bills headquarters and passing a physical.

Schobel thought about the money he was walking away from.

"Yeah, I mean if there is money to made, you hate to turn it down,'' he said. "But whether I got the money or not, it wasn't going to change my lifestyle. It wasn't going to make me any happier. I always told myself I never wanted to be a guy who was just hanging around for the money.''

Schobel added that his decision is final.

"I won't be changing my mind, I can promise you that,'' he said. "This is it for me, period. It's good to be able to go out on your own terms and not be forced out. Not a lot o players can say that.''

---Allen Wilson

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