National Football League

Ravens C Birk announces retirement

Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk announced his retirement on Friday.

Birk revealed his decision while dedicating a community reading center at a Baltimore elementary school.

"Today I'm announcing my retirement from the NFL," Birk was quoted as saying on the Ravens' Twitter feed. "I've enjoyed playing football. But as much as playing football, I've enjoyed doing this (community service)."

Birk, recognized for his community work with the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2011, played the past four seasons with the Ravens after spending 11 years with Minnesota. He went out as a Super Bowl champion, helping Baltimore to a win over San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII earlier this month.

The six-time Pro Bowl selection had two years remaining on a three-year deal he signed last March. He had contemplated retirement last spring before coming back for one more year.

Birk started all 16 games for the Ravens in 2012 and hadn't missed a game since sitting out the 2005 season with Minnesota because of a sports hernia and hip injury. The 36-year-old Harvard product played in 210 regular-season games and started 187, while also appearing in 11 playoff games.

02/22 12:23:35 ET