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Carolina Panthers star Luke Kuechly announces his retirement

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers star linebacker Luke Kuechly announced on Tuesday night he is stepping away from football.

The seven-time Pro Bowler had been with the Panthers since 2012.

Kuechly was taken with the ninth overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Boston College.

He was First-Team All-Pro five times and won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 2013.

Kuechly was also the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2012 and the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2011.

He finishes his eight-year NFL career with 690 solo tackles, 402 assists on tackles and 18 interceptions.

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