MINNEAPOLIS MN - DECEMBER 05: Ben Leber #51 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates after a fourth quarter fumble recovery against the Buffalo Bills at the Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on December 5 2010 in Minneapolis Minnesota. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
One of the more underrated parts of the Vikings' success in 2008 and 2009 announced his retirement from the National Football League on Friday.
Ben Leber, a linebacker that didn't get a whole lot of ink but always seemed to be in the right place at the right time as a part of Minnesota's defense, hung up the cleats today. Leber spent the first four seasons of his NFL career with the San Diego Chargers, who drafted him out of Kansas State University with the 71st overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft. He joined the Vikings as a free agent in 2006, and played with the Vikings through the 2010 season. He spent 2011 with the St. Louis Rams.
Leber missed only one game as a member of the Vikings. In his five years in Minnesota, he accumulated 269 tackles, 12 sacks, and five interceptions. Sadly, he might be best remembered for being flagged for pass interference in overtime of the 2009 NFC Championship Game on a play where he was a good five yards away from the receiver that he allegedly "interfered" with. (He didn't interfere with him one damn bit.)
But most of us will remember Ben Leber as a solid linebacker who rarely, if ever, found himself out of position and almost always made the plays that needed to be made. Hopefully he will find continued success in his post-football endeavors.