Falcons center Todd McClure retiring

Todd McClure will announce his retirement after the NFL owners meetings giving the Atlanta Falcons a void to fill on their offensive line.

A seventh-round draft pick in 1999, McClure has played in 197 games for the Falcons but is ready to move on, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

It’s going to be different not putting on cleats, the shoulders pads and going out there on the field, but it’s something that I’m looking forward to,” McClure told Ledbetter. “I’ve got four kids and my wife, it’s time to move on to the next chapter.”

The Falcons brought McClure, 36, back on a one-year contract for this past season and the organization clearly knew it was going to need to replace him moving into 2013. The Falcons were planning for it a year ago when they drafted Peter Konz from Wisconsin in the second round. He is expected to take over.

Fortunately, Atlanta was able to re-sign left tackle Sam Baker earlier in free agency, so the Falcons will not have to worry about seeking a replacement on the blind side of quarterback Matt Ryan.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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