Veteran Denver Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware announced his retirement from the National Football League on Monday, saying he was quitting the sport despite opportunities to prolong his career.
Ware, 34, issued a letter on Twitter confirming his decision titled "It's time."
"After a lot of thought and prayer, I've decided to accept the unknown and retire from my NFL career," Ware wrote.
"Tempting opportunities still present themselves for me to play and I feel better than I have in years. However, long term health and quality of life outweigh the spark and passion to play that I once had."
Ware won a Super Bowl with the Broncos in 2015 after spending the first nine seasons of his career with the Dallas Cowboys.
The nine-time Pro Bowler is eighth on the NFL's all-time list of sacks with 138 1/2.
In 2008, he recorded 20 sacks in a season with Dallas -- the fifth-highest number ever posted in a single NFL season.
"I will miss my teammates, coaches, and fans, who supported me over the years. I'm hanging up my cleats and beginning the journey to my next destination," wrote Ware, who totaled 505 tackles, 35 forced fumbles and three interceptions in 178 career games.