Birk, a 36-year-old Baltimore Ravens center who played his first 11 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, won his first Super Bowl a few weeks ago and announced his retirement Friday, according to the Ravens’ website.
Birk, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, played for 15 seasons after Minnesota drafted him in the sixth round out of Harvard in 1998. He turned into one of the league’s best centers and was also named the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2011.
The Ravens’ website said Birk, renowned for his work in the community, met with students at Battle Grove Elementary School in Baltimore on Friday to dedicate a community reading center and that he announced his retirement during the ceremony.
“I’m old. I have six kids. It’s just time,” Birk said, according to the website. “I really enjoyed playing football I got to play it for a long time. I’ve been very fortunate. I just feel like it’s time to do something else.”
Birk had two years remaining on his contract, which was set to pay him $2.75 million per year.