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- John Welbourn Retires From NFL

Chris Pokorny June 16, 2006
Chris Pokorny
PFC Owner & Writer

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CLEVELAND, Oh. (PFCritics) -- Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman John Welbourn announced his retirement on Thursday, ending his career at age 30. Welbourn was originally a fourth-round draft pick by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1999, and was acquired by the Chiefs in 2004.

Since arriving in Kansas City, he has been hurt by injuries and controversy. He was suspended for the first four games of the 2005 season for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. If he would've stayed with the Chiefs, he would've competed for the starting job with veteran Kyle Turley, Jordan Black, and Kevin Sampson.

"I decided to retire on my own terms rather than somebody else's," Welbourn said to The Associated Press. "It was awesome playing in the NFL. I got to play with a lot of great athletes, Will Shields, Willie Roaf, to name a few. I've been playing football for 16 years and it's a little scary to think I won't be playing any more. But at the same time, it's exciting to think I'll be starting a whole new chapter in my life."

Welbourn played in three NFC Championship Games with the Eagles, where he played left guard.

"It's weird thinking I won't be playing football anymore," he said. "Most guys play until they can't play anymore. But I feel good physically and I've been playing well. I'm leaving on a high note."

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