"I played for 10 years, and that was always my goal," Flanigan told the Door County Advocate in announcing his decision Tuesday. "There comes a point in time where you realize you can't play forever. This just seems like the right time. I'd rather quit while I'm ahead, so to speak."
Flanigan played in 145 games, including 97 starts. He tallied 46 sacks, including 11 in his second NFL season.
Injuries and the birth of his first child were the reasons for his retirement. He was Chicago's third-round draft choice in 1994 after playing collegiately at Notre Dame. He played high school football at Southern Door High School.
He started eight games during his one season in Green Bay. The time was special not only because he grew up so close to Green Bay, but because his father, Jim Flanigan Sr., was a Packers linebacker from 1967-70.
"I loved playing for Green Bay because that's where I grew up," Flanigan said. "And the fans were awesome. It reminded me of playing at Notre Dame. I really wanted to stay in Green Bay, but we couldn't agree to a contract."