New York Giants offensive guard Chris Snee announced his retirement Monday after struggling to bounce back from hip and elbow injuries.
Snee, who helped the Giants win two Super Bowls, was one of the most decorated members of the team's all-time offensive line.
Snee played in the NFL for 10 seasons.
"I am proud of where I am today," Snee said. "To come from a small town in Pennsylvania (Montrose) where nobody thought (I would be an NFL player). When I said I wanted to play pro football at a young age, I was serious. And then when I played high school ball, I said, 'I want to be the first guy from my high school to go to a Division I college,' and I was able to do that.
"Along every step there were doubters -- I'm sure that's the case with everyone. I'm not trying to make my situation unique. I've always been a guy, I like to prove people wrong. I just always have been a guy who has had high goals for myself and really never satisfied until I get them. I'm extremely proud, but also extremely sad."
Snee hoped to recover from elbow surgery and two hip operations over the past two years in time to play an 11th season. However, he was unable to participate in the Giants' minicamp in June.
"I think Chris was everything you could ever hope for in a player: toughness, integrity, and a lot of pride," team owner John Mara said. "Winning mattered to him. I think he set a great example for all of the other players. He's somebody we're going to miss very much. He was one of the greatest offensive linemen in Giants history, and he'll be on that Ring of Honor someday."
Now, the Giants are in search of a starting right guard.
The team recently signed veteran John Jerry in the event that Snee would not be ready by training camp. Jerry was one of the players who had a role in the Miami Dolphins bullying and harassment scandal last season. He missed offseason workouts because of knee surgery but he is expected to be ready by training camp.
Brandon Mosley, the Giants' fourth-round draft pick in 2012, could compete with Jerry for the starting nod.
The Giants drafted Snee in the second round in 2004. He started 152 of a possible 158 games, including the playoffs, over nine seasons, including wins in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI. However, he only played three games last season due to the hip and elbow injuries.
"To me, he was the best guard in all of football. No doubt," coach Tom Coughlin, who is Snee's father-in-law, said in a statement. "No matter who you put him against, all of the great defensive tackles in the game, the 350 (pound) guys, the 340 guys, he blocked them. When he first came here, he was so, so committed and so driven to excel at the professional level as he had excelled at the collegiate level (at Boston College)."