Former BYU offensive tackle John Tait has retired from the National Football League.

Tait reportedly walked away from the $4.8 million he was set to earn in the final year of his contract with the Chicago Bears.

During his 10-year NFL career, Tait, 34, started in 139 of 148 games, which included an appearance in Super Bowl XLI in 2007. In that contest, the Bears fell to the Indianapolis Colts. Tait's close friend from BYU, linebacker Rob Morris, played for the Colts.

In his three seasons at BYU, Tait started all 37 games and helped lead the Cougars to a 14-1 record, a Cotton Bowl victory and a No. 5 final ranking in 1996. He decided to forgo his senior year to enter the 1999 NFL draft, where he was selected No. 14 overall in the first round by the Kansas City Chiefs.

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Tait played five seasons for the Chiefs and the final five seasons of his career for the Bears.

In February, Tait was asked about his potential retirement. "You notice little things that didn't happen when you were younger; it just takes a little bit longer to recover from games," he said.

"I think you have to do a lot more maintenance, just the upkeep, that's the biggest thing. If you would have asked me after my rookie year if I was going to play 10 years in the league, I would have told you you were crazy. I'm just happy I am still going."

— Jeff Call

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