CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -Carolina Panthers defensive end Mike Rucker will retire after nine seasons, finishing second on the team's all-time tackles list.
Rucker will announce his retirement at news conference at Bank of America Stadium later Tuesday, a team official said.
In February, Rucker decided he'd play for at least one more season. But the 33-year-old had second thoughts, and the Panthers decided not to re-sign him.
Rucker was Carolina's second-round pick in 1999 and quickly became one of the anchors of the defensive line. He ranks second in team history with 553 tackles and 55 1/2 sacks.
Rucker returned from a serious knee injury last season and finished with 57 tackles and three sacks.
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