Former Packer Julius Peppers retires from NFL

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(WBAY) -- Former Green Bay Packer Julius Peppers has retired after 17 seasons in the National Football League.

Peppers, 39, posted his "17 and Out" message on The Players' Tribune website.

The veteran defensive end had nothing but praise for the fans in Green Bay.

"And Packers fans? I guess more than anything, Green Bay just felt like home. You know, small town, good people who love their football … it was a really great experience being a part of that culture. I was sad to leave Green Bay, and I don’t think I would have left to go anywhere but home to Carolina," Peppers writes.

He also thanked Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, and former Packers Coach Mike McCarthy, saying McCarthy "got a raw deal in Green Bay this year."

"Aaron Rodgers, just for being an all-time great player and teammate … and for making me believe that somehow, a Hail Mary can be a high-percentage throw. I’ve never seen anybody do some of the things you can do, man. I’m glad I had a front seat for some of it," Peppers writes.

Peppers grew up in North Carolina and finished out his career with his hometown Carolina Panthers.

The nine-time Pro Bowler played in a Super Bowl, but never got a ring.

He played with the Packers from 2014-2016.