MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — So long, Joe. After 13 seasons, Minnesota Vikings veteran offensive lineman Joe Berger is hanging it up.

Despite reported offers to continue his career with the Vikings or Lions, Berger decided to retire from the NFL.

In a statement sent to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Berger said:

“After a lot of careful thought and prayer I have decided to retire from football. I have been fortunate to enjoy 13 seasons and have had the opportunity to play with so many good players and coaches. I was on some great teams before the Vikings, but it wasn’t until I got to Minnesota that I really felt at home. For seven years I was able to play for a great organization and in front of the best fans. U.S. Bank Stadium is an incredible place to play football. My family and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity I was given. I will miss my teammates and the game but am looking forward to this next chapter. So many people have had a part in my career and I hope some day I’ll be able to personally thank each one of them. Thanks for the memories! SKOL Vikings!”

Berger, 35, was drafted in the sixth round by the Carolina Panthers in 2005. He was waived before the start of the season and went to the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys before landing with the Vikings.

On Thursday, the Vikings announced they signed guard Tom Compton, who grew up in Minnesota. He was drafted by the Washington Redskins in 2012 and has appeared in 71 games with 15 starts throughout his career.

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