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Berry Calls It a Career

Posted Jan 21, 2010

Defensive end announces retirement after 12 NFL seasons

Defensive end Bertrand Berry announced his retirement Thursday.
 
 
The “B-train” has finally pulled into the station.

Cardinals defensive end Bertrand Berry, who arrived in Arizona as a free agent with a Pro Bowl splash in 2004, announced his retirement Thursday night after 12 years in the NFL.

The 34-year-old Berry delivered the news on the season’s final installment of the “Big Red Rage,” the weekly radio show he co-hosts.
 
"I've been playing football since I was 9 years old, 25 years, and with it coming to an end there is a little bit of sadness but at the same time it means there is a new beginning," Berry said. "It's been a great ride."

Berry walks away with 65 sacks in his career, including the 14½ he posted during his first year with the Cardinals. Berry finished third on the Cardinals in sacks this season, his six one behind co-leaders Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell. But adding in the postseason – when Berry posted two sacks – he finished with a team-best eight.
 
"It's time," Berry said. "I've given a lot of my life to the game, I have played the game at a high level and I have tried to represent myself the best I could. I think I have played the game the right way, I think I have respected the game and I think I left the game a little better than when I came in.
 
"I am proud of my career and what I accomplished. At this point, there isn't much more I can do. I was able to live out my dream for 13 years and I have no regrets."

Originally drafted by the Colts out of Notre Dame in 1997, Berry’s career was derailed when he signed with the Rams in 2000 but was cut during the preseason. After a brief attempt in the Canadian Football League, Berry rededicated himself to getting back to the NFL, worried he may have already played his last down in the NFL.

He shouldn’t have been concerned.

Berry signed with Denver in 2001, and became a feared pass rusher, notching a then-career-best 11½ for the Broncos in 2003. That led to his free-agent contract with the Cards, a five-year, $25 million deal  which immediately paid off when Berry had the third-most sacks in franchise history, trailing only the 16½ Simeon Rice made in 1999 and the 16 Curtis Greer had in 1983.

“That’s one of my biggest fears, that people will perceive me as not being worth the money at the end of the day,” Berry said in training camp before the 2004 season. “I work hard every day to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Season-ending injuries struck Berry in each of the next three seasons, allowing him to play in only 27 of 48 games, notching 14½ sacks total. He restructured his contract to remain in Arizona in 2008, becoming a situational pass rusher on the Cards’ drive to the Super Bowl, and re-signed on a one-year contract to return in 2009.
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