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Center Phil Costa retires month after signing with Indianapolis Colts

Center Phil Costa retires at age 26 after signing with ColtsPhil Costa started all 16 games at center for the Cowboys in 2011. (Scott W. Grau/Icon SMI)

After spending parts of four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, center Phil Costa entered free agency and signed a two-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts.

It appeared to be a solid match, as the Colts, who had released Samson Satele, were hopeful that Costa would either push the rather disappointing Khaled Holmes to perform better or even win the starting center job himself.

But just a month after inking the $2.2 million contract, Costa abruptly retired at age 26.

"Phil feels it's in his best interest to retire from the game,'' General Manager Ryan Grigson said in a release from the team. "We certainly understand and wish him nothing but the best.''

The loss of Costa will likely have the Colts scrambling ahead of the NFL draft, as the aforementioned Holmes and young prospect Thomas Austin are the only centers on the roster.

MORE: 2014 NFL Mock Draft | Top QBs | Top WRs | SI64: Our definitive Big Board

According to The Dallas Morning News, Costa acknowledged that his decision was influenced by the day-to-day physical toll required to endure an NFL season.

Both Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus will return to solidify the tackle spots, while Hugh Thornton will likely flip to right guard to replace the departed Mike McGlynn, giving the offensive line a new look on the interior.
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