NFL Rumors: Former Arizona Cardinals Star Darnell Dockett Retiring

One of the best pass rushers in the history of the Arizona Cardinals franchise is about to walk away from the NFL. According to ESPN, Darnell Dockett is retiring this summer. Having been in the National Football League since 2004, Dockett knows that his body can no longer handle the daily grind of being a professional athlete.

Injuries have taken a toll on Darnell Dockett. In 2014, the former Florida State Seminoles star tore his ACL. Dockett struggled to return, so the Arizona Cardinals had to release him to clear a roster spot for someone else who could contribute to their defense.

Darnell Dockett was given another chance by the San Francisco 49ers. He signed with the team in March of 2015. Unfortunately, though, his body could not hold up, so the Niners released him in September. Dockett never made it on to the field for San Francisco, who were looking to rebuild a defense that was decimated by personnel losses.

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The retirement should not come as a major shock to people in the NFL. According to Sporting News, Darnell Dockett has not played in a regular season game since 2013. Executives and coaches knew that Dockett was going to have a hard time getting back on the field, especially with so many younger players coming into the National Football League every year.

Though he would have loved to have a couple of more chapters, Darnell Dockett can walk away from the NFL knowing that he left a pretty solid legacy that many would be proud of.

Darnell Dockett managed to make three Pro Bowl games during his career, which is a lot more than what many guys in the NFL can claim. The 6-foot-4 defensive lineman also recorded 40.5 sacks, which is even more impressive when people factor in that Dockett played defensive end in the 3-4 defense.

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Chandler Jones Chandler Jones [Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]Back in 2009, Darnell Dockett finally achieved a dream of playing in the Super Bowl. A lot of players go through their entire NFL career without ever making to the big game. Not only did Dockett get to the Super Bowl, he also tied a record by having three sacks.

The Atlanta native does get to walk away with a good amount of money made over his NFL career. In the fall of 2010, Darnell Dockett signed a six-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals that was worth approximately $56 million. No one is certain of the actual amount that Dockett made, but $30 million of the deal was guaranteed.

The Arizona Cardinals have moved on from Darnell Dockett. They recently made a big trade with the New England Patriots to acquire the services of Chandler Jones, who is considered one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. The Cardinals capitalized on the fact that the Patriots do not like spending huge money to retain players.

San Francisco 49ers defensive end DeForest Buckner DeForest Buckner [Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]Knowing that Darnell Dockett was no longer a viable option, the San Francisco 49ers moved on as well. The franchise has spent two consecutive first round draft picks on Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner, both of whom are defensive ends from the Oregon Ducks.

The official retirement announcement from Darnell Dockett could take place as soon as Monday. The 35-year-old is expected to sign a ceremonial one day contract with the Arizona Cardinals so that he can retire with the only team in the NFL that he has actually played for.

Walking away from the NFL is not an easy thing to do, but more and more players are doing it nowadays. There is more concern about long-term health issues. Darnell Dockett could probably have worked his way towards another comeback, but he decided it was time for the next chapter in his life.

[Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]