Haloti Ngata bid farewell to Baltimore over the weekend.
The veteran defensive linemen bought a full-page advertisement in The Baltimore Sun to thank the city and say goodbye to the fans after getting traded to the Detroit Lions last week. Ngata called Baltimore home for the last nine years, but the Ravens traded him after the two sides were unable to work out a contract extension to make him a Raven for life.
"Although my playing days have come to an end here in Baltimore, my family and I want to say an enormous thank you to the great people in this city and the members of Ravens Nation everywhere," Ngata wrote. "It has been a privilege of a lifetime to play for the Baltimore Ravens for the last nine years and to hear you passionately cheering us on each-and-every week."
Ngata, the No. 12 overall pick in 2006, had spent his entire career with the Ravens. He was part of three AFC North championships and the Super Bowl XLVII title.
Owner Steve Bisciotti said before the trade that he put Ngata in the "iconic" class of franchise players along with future Hall of Famers like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.
"I want you to know how much I appreciate the way you welcomed me in and made me a part of the Baltimore community," Ngata wrote. "When I came to Baltimore as a rookie, I did not know anyone in Maryland. And yet, for nearly a decade, you provided the perfect place for me to develop as a player, grow as a man, start a life with my wife, raise my three boys, make friendships that will last a lifetime and have experiences I will treasure forever."
In the ad, Ngata specifically thanked Bisciotti, General Manager Ozzie Newsome, his head coaches John Harbaugh and Brian Billick, and his teammates.
"I have played with the best teammates any athlete could ask for," Ngata said. "Thank you for pushing me to become the best player I could be. The things we accomplished together as Baltimore Ravens will link us together forever with a bond that cannot be broken."