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Emmanuel Sanders announces retirement from NFL after 12 seasons

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Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders is hanging up his cleats for good, announcing his retirement from the NFL after 12 seasons. 

Sanders on Wednesday posted the announcement to his Instagram page, saying he’s had “one hell of a ride.”

“Three Super Bowl appearances, multiple Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl champion. I gave the game everything I had and it treated me well which is why I'm happy with my decision,” Sanders' caption read.

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Emmanuel Sanders of the Denver Broncos runs with the ball during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Sports Authority Field At Mile High in Denver, Colorado, on Jan. 17, 2016.
(Rob Leiter via Getty Images)

Sanders gave multiple organizations everything he had. In his 12 seasons, the wideout played for five different teams, the longest stint being with the Denver Broncos. 

His two Pro Bowl seasons came with Denver in 2014 and 2016 after he spent five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who drafted Sanders in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Southern Methodist University.

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Sanders collected his Super Bowl ring in 2015 with the Broncos, helping them to a 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers. He had six catches for 83 yards to contribute to the offense, which was led by Hall of Famer Peyton Manning. 

The Buffalo Bills' Emmanuel Sanders scores a touchdown against the New England Patriots during the third quarter of the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, on Jan. 15, 2022.

The Buffalo Bills' Emmanuel Sanders scores a touchdown against the New England Patriots during the third quarter of the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, on Jan. 15, 2022.
(Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

“To everyone who supported me throughout my career.. thank you! To every organization that I played for.. thank you! To all my teammates and coaches.. thank you! To my family and friends… thank you! I came a long way from the small town of Bellville, Texas. I was just a kid chasing after a dream and I caught it! God is the greatest!” Sanders wrote.

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Over his career, Sanders has always been a deep-ball threat, with great speed and reliable hands that his quarterbacks have trusted. 

Emmanuel Sanders of the Buffalo Bills warms up before a game against the Miami Dolphins at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, on Oct. 31, 2021.

Emmanuel Sanders of the Buffalo Bills warms up before a game against the Miami Dolphins at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, on Oct. 31, 2021.
(Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

Sanders hauled in 51 receiving touchdowns in 172 career games, along with a single rushing touchdown in 2018 with Denver, as well. 

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He also had 9,245 receiving yards on 704 career receptions. 

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