NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Giants punter Jeff Feagles, the NFL's iron man, announced his retirement on Friday after 22 seasons and a league-record 352 consecutive games.
Feagles, at 44 the league's oldest active player, signed a contract earlier this month to play another season, but changed his mind after having physical trouble getting ready for the next campaign.
He had a 41.6-yard career gross average and a 35.9-yard net average and never missed a game in his career.
"It is an incredible, incredible accomplishment," Giants coach Tom Coughlan told reporters about Feagles's streak.
"I look at Jeff ... I think of an individual that is totally reliable, totally dependable, totally honest, completely trustworthy, and has all of the necessary ingredients for success."
Feagles said he realized it was time to quit.
"My mind was telling me that I want to come back and do this," Feagles told reporters. "I have been doing it for half my life.
Coughlin said he had mixed feelings.
"It is a sad day because I walked around this morning and I listened to a lot of people in our organization and their thoughts were that Jeff would be here forever. I think that is the way, honestly, we all feel."
(Writing by Larry Fine, Editing by Ian Ransom)