Redskins center Kory Lichtensteiger leaves the field following the playoff loss to the Packers on Jan. 10, 2016. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Redskins center Kory Lichtensteiger announced Friday that he is retiring after a nine-year NFL career, the last seven spent in Washington.

Lichtensteiger, 31, shared the news via a statement issued by the Redskins in which he thanked the organization and its fans for their support over the years.

A fourth-round pick in the 2008 NFL draft out of Bowling Green, Lichtensteiger appeared in 93 regular season NFL games, starting 75 of them. After playing his rookie year in Denver and the following in Minnesota, he was acquired as a free agent by the Redskins in 2010.

Lichtensteiger went on to appear in 77 games for Washington, at left guard and center, including one stretch of 37 regular season games in which he didn’t miss a start. But his 2016 season was cut short by a Week 3 calf injury that landed him on injured reserve, and Coach Jay Gruden turned to third-year player Spencer Long in Lichtensteiger’s stead.

At 6 foot 5 and 324 pounds, Long was better suited to the big-bodied line that the Redskins wanted to build under General Manager Scot McCloughan. And Long handled the position well, making it less likely that the 6-2, 295-pound Lichtensteiger would earn his spot back.

Heading into the 2017 season, the offensive line remains a strength of the Redskins, with Pro Bowl honorees at left tackle (Trent Williams) and right guard (Brandon Scherff). The unit allowed just 23 sacks in 2016, helping quarterback Kirk Cousins to a single-season franchise-record 4,917 passing yards.

In the statement issued by the team, Redskins Coach Jay Gruden congratulated Lichtensteiger on his NFL career, noting: “Kory has been a class act both on and off the field and worked tirelessly on becoming the best player he could possibly be. Kory defied the odds of being undersized because of his competitive spirit, accountability and attention to detail. It also helps to be tough as hell.”

Entering the 2016 season, only defensive lineman Kedric Golston and safety DeAngelo Hall had longer tenures with the Redskins.

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