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After 20 Seasons, Brown Says He'll Retire

Ray Brown made it official following Saturday's 20-10 playoff loss to Seattle: the 43-year-old offensive lineman is calling it quits.

Brown has decided to retire after 20 seasons in the NFL.

The decision did not come as a surprise. Brown has hinted for several weeks that he expected to retire after this season.

"I'm secure in leaving this game and having guys forget who I was," Brown said after the game at Qwest Field. "I'll be around, though. I'll be bugging guys for tickets and to come to some charity events.

"I'm going to enjoy being in front of the TV watching the game. I'll always be a fan."

When right guard Randy Thomas went down in Week 15 with a fractured fibula, Brown stepped in the rest of the season. He started four games, including the Redskins' two playoff games.

Brown viewed his four-game stint as the final stretch of a career that began in St. Louis in 1986. He developed his skills with the Redskins during Joe Gibbs' first stint with the team, then went on to play for the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions. In 2004, he returned for two more seasons to play for Gibbs and the Redskins.

"I'm satisfied, I really am," Brown said. "I leave this game with so much. I've taken so much. Now it's my time to try to give something back to somebody else, to give some time to my family and give some time to some charitable organizations in my community."

Said right tackle Jon Jansen: "What an amazing career he has had. I don't think that will ever be matched. There are a lot of guys who say they want to play as long as he has, but to be able to do it, it's amazing."

In Saturday's playoff loss to Seattle, Brown had to leave the game in the third quarter due to cramps. He was carted to the locker room where he was re-hydrated. He returned after missing two offensive series. He wanted to finish the game on the field, not on the sideline or in the locker room.

Earlier in the season, when the Redskins were struggling at 5-6, it was Brown who emerged as a spokesman and leader, helping to encourage the team through a series of tough losses.

Now Brown sees a strong foundation in place for the Redskins franchise.

"There are a lot of things to build on," he said. "The pieces are here to be successful. We have an owner who is committed to success and a coaching staff that will be here a couple more years. With those building blocks, I think you'll see another Super Bowl in Washington in the next couple of years."

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