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Local boy Tyler Polumbus retires after 8 NFL seasons

Tyler Polumbus, an ultimate local boy makes good story, has retired after eight NFL seasons.

<p><span style="color: rgb(26, 26, 26); font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 18px;"> Tyler Polumbus #76 of the Denver Broncos celebrates after defeating the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.</span></p>

Tyler Polumbus, an ultimate local boy makes good story, has retired after eight NFL seasons.

Or eight seasons more than the typical career length for undrafted players.

“I had very long odds in front of me, starting with trying to take the team my rookie year,” Polumbus said in an interview Tuesday with 9NEWS. “And once you come in undrafted that kind of sticks with you. You’re kind of labeled that forever. So yeah I was very fortunate to play as long as I did.”

An offensive lineman who was primarily a tackle, Polumbus was one of just 12 players to start for a Colorado high school team, Colorado College and the Denver Broncos.

Polumbus announced his retirement on his Facebook page. And so now two Broncos have formally retired to go out with a Super Bowl 50 ring. Some guy named Peyton Manning was the other. Peyton and Polumbus.

“Yeah, I thought about doing the joint press conference but I didn’t want to overshadow him,” Polumbus said with his familiar sarcastic humor.

A standout at Cherry Creek High School and the University of Colorado, Polumbus went undrafted in 2008. He signed with the Broncos, played 16 games as a rookie for Mike Shanahan, and then started eight games in the second half of the 2009 season for Josh McDaniels.

Polumbus wound up starting games for the Seattle Seahawks and Washington before playing briefly for Atlanta last season. He then returned to Denver to play in 14 games, including postseason, as a swing offensive tackle.

Polumbus was asked to come up with top memory from each level of football.

*First, while playing for Cherry Creek High School: “I’ll never forget the feeling of Friday Night Lights. You felt like you were a professional football player underneath those lights. That’s when the game was just so pure. I’ll never forget what the game felt like in high school.”

*While playing for the CU Buffaloes from 2004-07: “There were a couple really cool moments. Beating Oklahoma, I think they were No. (3-ranked) team my senior year. My last game at Folsom, we played Nebraska and put a whuppin’ on them.”

Boy, Polumbus does go back a ways. CU behind Cody Hawkins defeated Oklahoma behind Sam Bradford, 27-24 in 2007. Later that year, the Buffs stampeded Nebraska in the second half for a 65-51 win.

Finally, his top moment in the NFL: “You can’t beat the Super Bowl. My kids out there on the field and seeing them do snow angels in the confetti and having my son on my shoulders and shaking hands with all the players. That’s a memory that will never fade.”

Polumbus married Liz just prior to his rookie year. They have three children: Noah, Lydia and Kensie.

“To be able to play so much football in front of my friends and family, it’s a very unique thing,” Polumbus said. “Not many guys get to do in the NFL.”

The moment I remember most about Polumbus had nothing to do with Colorado. It was while he was playing left guard for the Seattle Seahawks in a 2010 playoff game against New Orleans. Marshawn Lynch had one of the most remarkable 67-yard touchdown runs anyone has ever seen.

Polumbus double-teamed the nose tackle on the play, then looked up to see Lynch breaking tackles. Polumbus hustled downfield and threw the final block on the play near the goal line.

“That’s probably my most vivid memory of a specific play I was involved with in my entire career,” Polumbus said. “That was an once-in-a-lifetime deal, just how many tackles he broke and the fact it literally caused an earthquake in Seattle, so yeah that’s my most vivid play of my career.”

In recent years, Polumbus often had to wait well into the offseason before he signed with a club. He could have done so again this year but decided to retire from banging his body around and turn his attention to his family while he still has his health.

“I’ve got stuff to fight through, but that was one of the factors to get out as healthy as possible,” he said.

Naturally, Polumbus has settled in the Denver area. He’s not quite sure how he will begin life after football.

“I’ve got some options in front of me but I’m going to take my time,” he said. “Maybe dip my feet in a few different projects and get a feel for what I want to do next before committing to anything.”

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