Earl Mitchell announces retirement

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Defensive tackle Earl Mitchell announced his retirement Thursday.

Mitchell, who played nine NFL seasons, posted a good-bye letter on Instagram.

“I thought that I would be sad when I decided to let go of something I’ve loved for so long,” Mitchell wrote. “I feel grateful to walk away with no regrets knowing I gave it my all. After nine great years, I’m officially retiring from the National Football League.

“Since 2002 I’ve dedicated my life to this game. When I first stepped into the locker room at North Shore [High School in Houston], I decided to put my all into learning something that I knew nothing about. If it wasn’t for this game I would have never been able to achieve my original dream of going to and graduating college. I’m extremely proud of my career and I appreciate all of those who have supported me along the way.”

The Texans drafted the Arizona product in the third round in 2010. He played four seasons for the Texans, three for the Dolphins and two for the 49ers.

The 49ers cut Mitchell in January. He had a brief stay with the Seahawks this summer.

Mitchell, 32, played 130 games with 66 starts and made 267 tackles and 6.5 sacks.