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Rashard Mendenhall Retires from the NFL

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  Former Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall announced that he is retiring from the NFL at 26-years-old.

Mendenhall made the announcement in his most recent blog for The Huffington Post, saying he was tired of living a "private life in the public eye" as an NFL player after just six seasons in the league.

"I just kind of wanted to disappear," Mendenhall said. "The fact that I was done playing would've been clear once some time had passed, and I hadn't signed back with the Cardinals or any other team. Maybe people would've thought I couldn't get another job. Either way, I was okay with the idea of fading to black, and my legacy becoming, 'What ever happened to that dude Rashard Mendenhall? He was pretty good for a few years, then he just vanished.' "

The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Mendenhall with the 23rd overall pick in the 2008 draft out of the University of Illinois.  He spent five seasons in Pittsburgh, helping them win Super Bowl XLIII.  He played for the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 and will finish his career with 4,236 rushing yards and 37 touchdowns.

Mendenhall would have become an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday afternoon.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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