Published: Mon, July 31, 2017
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

Rob Ninkovich's retirement takes Sean Payton back in time

Rob Ninkovich's retirement takes Sean Payton back in time

However, his career did not take off until he was signed by #The Patriots as a free agent.

The 33-year-old Ninkovich announced his retirement on Sunday afternoon during a news conference in Foxborough, Mass.

New England Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich, who has been absent from training camp for what coach Bill Belichick described as personal reasons, announced his National Football League retirement Sunday afternoon.

Since joining the Patriots in 2009, Ninkovich had proven to be one of the team's most durable and dependable players. He finishes his career with 46 sacks and 10 forced fumbles. He was a fifth-round draft pick (135th overall) of the New Orleans Saints in 2006. He was a team captain in 2013 and 2015 and part of two Super Bowl championship teams. He also appeared in 16 postseason games, collecting 34 tackles, six sacks and an interception. The scandals and cheating claims are numerous, although no one can deny that they have a great coach in Bill Belichick and that they have one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Tom Brady.

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After Belichick spoke at length about Ninkovich as a special player and "really special guy", it was Kraft's turn to heap praise on Ninkovich during what Belichick described as a day of mixed emotions.

When Ninkovich was with New Orleans, he dealt with injuries, and coaches struggled to find a good fit for him in their 4-3 defense.

Reiss says Ninkovich has been considering retirement, and that "i$3 t would be a surprise" if more clarity regarding his situation didn't come "within the next 24 hours or so".

"I love it here, and I'm going to miss it". I hope I can take that knowledge you've given me over the years, and if I'm coaching or in football or doing something, and pass it on to the next group of guys. "Me and him have a great relationship, just being honest".

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