Boldin in shock NFL retirement after joining Bills

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Veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin plans to retire from NFL, despite recently joining the Buffalo Bills.

Boldin, 36, joined the Bills almost a fortnight ago but the Super Bowl champion and three-time Pro Bowler is already calling it quits.

"Football in its purest form is what we all strive for as a nation. People from all different races, religions and backgrounds working together for one shared goal," Boldin said to ESPN on Sunday.

"The core values taught in football are some of the most important you can learn in life. To always be there for the guy next to you and not let your fellow man down. You do whatever it takes to make sure your brother is OK.

"Football has afforded me a platform throughout my career to have a greater impact on my humanitarian work. At this time, I feel drawn to make the larger fight for human rights a priority. My life's purpose is bigger than football."

Boldin caught 67 passes for 584 yards and eight touchdowns for the Detroit Lions last season.

He was slated to see plenty of action moving forward in an offence without Sammy Watkins, while also serving as a mentor to rookie Zay Jones. 

In 14 NFL seasons with the Arizona Cardinals (2003-09), the Baltimore Ravens (2010-12), the San Francisco 49ers (2013-15) and the Lions, Boldin has 1,076 receptions (ninth on the league's all-time list) for 13,779 and 82 touchdowns.