FORMER Packer Mark Chmura retires from NFL - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

FORMER Packer Mark Chmura retires from NFL

MILWAUKEE (AP) _ Mark Chmura retired from professional football Monday, four months after he was acquitted in a sexual assault case.

Chmura's lawyer, Gerald Boyle, said the one-time Green Bay Packers Pro Bowl tight end wanted to play only for his former team ``and they did not make him an offer.''

Boyle said other teams had extended Chmura offers but he declined them. Boyle would not specify the teams.

Chmura's agent Eric Metz said Chmura did not want to relocate his family and did not want to take a drastic pay cut from his $3.5 million salary in Green Bay.

Chmura was a Pro Bowl selection in his last full season in 1998, but a neck injury kept him out for most of 1999.

The Packers waived him a year ago, while the sexual assault charges against him were pending, and he sat out the 2000 season while awaiting trial.

He was acquitted in February on a charge of second-degree sexual assault. A girl who was 17 at the time accused him of assaulting her in a bathroom during a post-prom party in April 2000 at a friend's Hartland home.

Chmura had considered playing NFL football after the acquittal, saying he was cleared by two doctors. He was given approval to return in late March after a review by NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

Also on Monday, Chmura pleaded no contest in a Waukesha court to contributing to underage drinking, an ordinance violation, stemming from the same post-prom party.

He was ordered to pay a fine of $500 plus court costs. Boyle had tried to have the ticket dismissed, but Circuit Judge Mark Gempeler denied the motion. Chmura did not attend the hearing.

Boyle said Chmura has hired civil lawyers to see whether Chmura has grounds for a civil lawsuit.

``He's looking at everyone that had to do with bringing him into the court,'' said Boyle, adding that if they decide to file a lawsuit, it will be within the next couple weeks.

Chmura sent a letter to Packers coach and general manager Mike Sherman Monday announcing his decision to retire, with copies sent to the NFL Players Association and the NFL Management Council, according to a copy obtained by WTMJ-TV.

``Please be advised through the service of this letter that I officially retire from the National Football League effective immediately,'' he wrote.

According to the collective bargaining agreement, retiring players have to send letters to the general manager of the last team they played for, the Players Association and the Management Council.

The Green Bay Packers confirmed they received the letter.

``We've been informed of Mark's decision. We wish him well in all his future endeavors,'' team spokesman Jeff Blumb said.

Calls by The Associated Press to the NFL Management Council and the NFL Players Association were not immediately returned.

Boyle said Chmura is considering a career in law and has been spending about 20 hours a week in Boyle's law office.

``He's acting like an investigator slash law clerk,'' Boyle said. He said he isn't being paid but, ``we give him free coffee and buy him lunch once in a while.

``I tell everyone he's working off his fee,'' Boyle joked.

Former Packers general manager Ron Wolf said before he retired last month that Chmura couldn't continue his career because of his neck injury.

``He can't play anymore. It's the neck. I'm sure he knows that, too,'' Wolf said.
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