Veteran RT Phil Loadholt retires after meeting with Vikings officials

Minnesota Vikings right tackle Phil Loadholt informed team officials Monday that he will retire.

Sources said Loadholt decided to retire due to soreness in his surgically repaired Achilles tendon and other aches and pains. Loadholt's injuries have taken a toll on a player who signed a $25 million extension in 2013.

"This chapter in my life is closing and I look forward to seeing what the next one brings. I'll always love this game and the opportunity to do something I dreamed about since I was seven years old. But, my body is telling me it's time to hang up my cleats," Loadholt said in a statement released by the Vikings.

Loadholt becomes the 14th NFL player 30 years of age or younger to retire this year.

Loadholt, 30, missed the entire 2015 season due to a torn Achilles tendon, which he suffered during the second preseason game. His last regular-season game as a Viking was on Nov. 23, 2014. He missed the final five games of that season due to a torn pectoral muscle.

Before the veteran offensive lineman dealt with injury issues the past few years, the 2009 second-round pick had played in 67 straight games from Week 6 of the 2009 season through Week 9 in 2013.

"When you think of the Vikings you think of players like Phil Loadholt. He carried himself as a professional and gave his all for his teammates. Phil will be a Viking for life. He was a great player and a better person. We wish him and his family all the best," Vikings owner Mark Wilf said in the statement.

Earlier this year, the Vikings signed former Cincinnati Bengals starting right tackle Andre Smith to compete for a starting job against Loadholt. Smith, 29, signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal with $1 million guaranteed.