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Terence Newman on Retirement: "It Was My Time"

EAGAN, Minn. — It's the end of one era, and the beginning of another, for Terence Newman.

The 39-year-old announced his retirement over the weekend on the outset of his 16th NFL season. Newman, who turns 40 on Tuesday, will now be the Vikings Nickel/Defensive Backs Coach.

"I've loved this game since the day I played it," Newman said Monday. "But it was my time."

The fifth overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft out of Kansas State, Newman played for Dallas, Cincinnati and Minnesota over his 15-year career.

He spent more than half of his career with Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer, as the two were together in Dallas from 2003-06, in Cincinnati from 2012-13 and in Minnesota from 2015-17.

Newman picked off 42 passes in his lengthy career, with half of those coming while playing under Zimmer, who said he expects Newman's transition to coaching to be an easy one.

"Just the details that he puts into it," Zimmer said. "Some guys can tell you about their position, they can tell you about what they did, but he's a guy that can tell you about the big picture of things."

Newman chose to return to the Vikings in the spring and said the 2018 season was going to be his last as a player.

But his final ride lasted only a few months as the veteran will now experience games from the sideline.

"It's probably going to be different the first time, not having done it before," Newman said. "Probably one of those things where you have to really experience it to be able to talk about it.

"I mean, I don't know what the feeling I'll have or if I'll have a rush of emotions, or be nervous as hell because I can't do anything on the field depending on how the game is going or whatever," Newman added. "That'll be one I just let happen and just go with it."

Newman said he could have played one final season, and would have likely had a roster spot going forward, but that he realized the Vikings had a gluttony of defensive backs and chose to step aside.

Besides starters Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes, cornerbacks Mackensie Alexander, Mike Hughes and Holton Hill are all young and developing players. The trio of Alexander, Hughes and Hill have played just two combined seasons in the NFL.

"There's a lot of young guys on the roster on offense and defense, and for me it was a deal where I played a long time," Newman said. "At some point you have to be true to yourself and say, 'Hey, do I want to keep going forward and have a chance to maybe tear up your back, neck or whatever?'

"Some of the younger talent, obviously, you have to either be selfish and maybe take a roster spot, or give somebody else an opportunity to live their dreams," Newman added. "It was pretty easy. Everybody is asking me if I'm OK. I'm like 'I'm good.' I'm still in football, I still have an opportunity to chase a Super Bowl ring."

After 221 games and 205 starts, Newman's playing career is now over. Besides the 42 career interceptions, three of which he returned for touchdowns, Newman also had a fumble recovery for a score and 2.0 career sacks.

Yet as he transitions into his new role, Newman said he will keep plenty of memories close, all while looking to create the best one yet.

"I think last year was pretty sweet. That's the furthest I've ever been in my career, and I was one game away from the Super Bowl," Newman said. "I think going forward that's what I'm chasing.

"I'll work as if I was going out to play, but I'll be going out to teach," Newman added.