Joe Berger Retires After 13 NFL Seasons; Played for Vikings, Cowboys, Dolphins

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 15: Joe Berger #61 of the Minnesota Vikings runs a play during the preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on August 15, 2015 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Buccaneers 26-16. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Longtime Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Joe Berger announced his retirement from the NFL on Friday.

Berger, whose stops across 13 years also included the Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys and two stints with the Miami Dolphins, confirmed his decision to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press.

“After a lot of careful thought and prayer I have decided to retire from football,” Berger wrote. “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.”

The 35-year-old Michigan native was a sixth-round pick of the Panthers in the 2005 NFL draft. He was waived and sent to the practice squad before his rookie season, however, and then signed away by the Dolphins a few days later.

He appeared in just seven regular-season games across his first five years in the league, which were split between Miami and Dallas.

Berger finally got his break during his second stay with the Dolphins starting in 2009. He made 20 starts over two seasons before joining the Vikings in 2011, and he remained with the franchise for the rest of his career.

In all, the Michigan Tech product appeared in 145 regular-season games, including 84 starts, during his NFL career. He also played in four playoff contests.