HOUSTON (AP) -Kailee Wong, a linebacker for the Houston Texans since their inception in 2002, retired Wednesday after nine NFL seasons.
Wong finished his career with a Texans-record 15 sacks.
``I've had a good experience here in Houston,'' Wong said. ``I'm very fond of this place with its fans. I am very honored to be one of the few Texans that have been here since the beginning and been a part of the franchise.''
Texans general manager Rick Smith said Wong had discussed the possibility of retiring for several months.
``It was absolutely his decision,'' Smith said. ``He's meant a lot to this organization and ... we certainly wanted to give him every opportunity to be a part of this.''
The 30-year-old Wong appeared in 10 games last season after missing more than a year following knee surgery.
``Ultimately, I love this team,'' Wong said. ``My decision has nothing to do with the organization. It truly is a personal decision.''
Wong, a second-round pick out of Stanford in 1998, had 12 tackles in 2007.
``It's been a really tough day for me because that kid's special,'' coach Gary Kubiak said. ``That's a big loss. I was really counting on him being part of our football team.''
Wong spent his first four seasons in Minnesota, where he had a career-high 112 tackles in 2000. His best season with the Texans came in 2004 when he had 71 tackles, 5 1/2 sacks and three interceptions.
``I wish I could have left this place where we had already been in the playoffs, but I do believe that this coaching staff under coach Kubiak and this team is going to bring the playoffs to this town,'' Wong said. ``I'm remorseful that I'm not going to be part of it, but with where I'm at, it's best for me to move on.''
Wong ends his career with 652 tackles, 21 1/2 sacks and six interceptions.
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