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Thankful Cunningham Calls It Quits

Associated Press

Thanking everyone from owners to trainers while trying not to take parting shots at his critics, quarterback Randall Cunningham retired from football on Friday after 11 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Unceremoniously released by the Eagles after last season, Cunningham, 33, said he made his decision after the only team he wanted to play for--the St. Louis Rams--didn’t sign him.

He said he did get feelers, including a one-year, $700,000 offer, but decided against it.

“In my heart, I wanted to retire after my 12th season,” Cunningham said. “As the situation with the Rams passed by and I started to spend some time with my family, my heart changed.”

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He recently signed a contract as a studio analyst with TNT and runs a marble-and-granite business in his hometown of Las Vegas.

“I’m very, very content with my life,” he said. “I loved the game and while I loved the game I stayed in. But when I lost the love, I got out.”

Cunningham angered Eagle Coach Ray Rhodes when he insisted on being with his wife in Las Vegas for the birth of their son while the team was preparing for last year’s playoff game against the Cowboys.

Cunningham said he did what he felt was right.

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“I think the NFL is changing a little bit,” he said. “If you can’t support your wife, there’s something wrong.”

Cunningham singled out former Eagle coach Buddy Ryan for being “truly a player’s coach,” and also said he was grateful to Rich Kotite--even though they disliked each other.

“So we didn’t get along. Big deal. You gave me the best season of my career in 1990,” Cunningham said. “It’s just too bad we didn’t go all the way [to the Super Bowl]. We could have been good friends.”

Cunningham had some choice, but carefully chosen words for Philadelphia, its fans and especially its sports radio personalities.

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“I have no bitter feelings toward Philadelphia,” he said. “Thank you for all the good times. Thank you for wearing No. 12 with pride.”


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