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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Chicago Bears receiver Devin Thomas announced his retirement Sunday via a message on Twitter, and the team confirmed he indeed has called it quits.

“I have decided to retire from the NFL,” Thomas wrote Sunday morning on his Twitter page.

“God has blessed me (with) achieving a childhood dream,” Thomas wrote. “I want to give back to my hometown and coach/mentor kids so they can reach their own.”

Thomas told ESPNChicago.com that he’d been considering retiring for some time, but the daily grind of training camp played a role in coaxing out the decision.

“I definitely feel like it’s a weight lifted, the beginning of my true life. I’m very excited to be able to live my life without anything holding me back.

“It’s something I meditated on for some time. But as I was preparing for the upcoming season, my spirit was telling me it was time to turn over a new leaf and put away this childish game idolized by so many people.”

Bears coach Lovie Smith said he didn’t attempt to convince Thomas to stay.

“He’s not with us anymore; decided he didn’t want to play any more football,” Smith said. “You don’t want a guy out here if he’s not totally into football and he has a passion to play it. So it’s not like I try to talk guys out of it when they’ve made up their minds.”

A second-round draft pick of the Washington Redskins in 2008, Thomas played in 55 career games (including 11 starts) with the Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers and New York Giants, with whom he earned a Super Bowl ring in the 2011 season.

With Thomas now out of the picture on the Bears depth chart look for Dane Sanzenbacher to have a clear path to make the team. Thomas was showing that he still had something in Bears camp showing good burst, but dropping some balls. Thomas was set to be a staple in Dave Toub’s special teams units this year. In a corresponding move Bears decided to bring back standout special teamer Rashied Davis.

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