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Giants running back Brandon Jacobs announces retirement

Brandon Jacobs warms up before a game against

Brandon Jacobs warms up before a game against the Green Bay Packers. (Nov. 17, 2013) Credit: AP

Brandon Jacobs has never come across as a retiring figure. Until now.

The 31-year-old running back announced on Twitter Thursday night that his NFL career has come to an end. Jacobs underwent a cartilage graft in his left knee in mid-December.

"After 9 years in this whirlwind business they call the NFL, I am proud to announce that I am hanging up my cleats," he posted. "I've had an amazing run and I appreciate all of the support from the fans through the good and the bad. The New York Giants are a great organization and I am proud to have been a part of it for so long. I love my coaches and my teammates and will miss them as well as the game itself, but I am healing well from my surgery and I look forward to running around with my kids for years to come!"

Jacobs ends his career as the Giants' all-time leader in rushing touchdowns with 60. His 5,087 rushing yards during his eight years with the Giants are the fourth-most in team history.

At 6-4 and 265 pounds, he was one of the league's most intimidating running backs. He was never one to shy away from controversy or trash talk with opponents, either.

Jacobs won two Super Bowl championships with the Giants and was released by the team after the 2011 season. He spent most of 2012 with the 49ers, although he seldom played, and was released late last season. In September, with the Giants hurting at running back, he was brought back in Week 2 of the season. He played in seven games and ran for 238 yards with four touchdowns.

Jacobs' retirement came just hours after Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride announced his retirement.

Jacobs was unlikely to play again anyway. No player had ever returned to the NFL after the rare cartilage graft procedure. He had held out hope earlier this week, however, by saying that if he did come back to the NFL, it would only be with the Giants.

"I'll only play here, no question," Jacobs said Monday as he cleaned out his locker for the final time and left the facility on crutches. "And if that's not the case, take it for what it is. Give me a box. Every other Sunday I'll put my Giants shirt on, my Giant hat, and root for this football team, this organization. I'm only playing here."

And now he's no longer doing that.

New York Sports