"There's something to be said about going out on top", Ninkovich said during a press conference that includes coach Bill Belichick and many of Ninkovich's teammates.
Payton, who has mentioned Ninkovich many times as a regret from his career with the Saints after the team tried to transform him into a long snapper following a torn ACL, took note of the announcement. He finishes his career with 46 sacks and 10 forced fumbles. He entered the National Football League as a fifth-round draft choice of the New Orleans Saints in 2006.
With New England he missed just one game, in 2009, before last season, when he started the season with a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on the use of performance-enhancing substances. He also appeared in 17 playoff games, all with New England, making 16 starts, with 64 total tackles and six sacks.
#Rob Ninkovich issued a statement at the conference with the team on Sunday.
After Belichick was Robert Kraft who spoke about how important he was to the organization and became a fan favorite. Thank you. Hopefully my playing career has taught me a lot. "Nick [Caserio] said 'There's a guy, Rob, he should be on a roster, he should be in a camp and he's available so let's get him.' Really, it's just history after that". But I knew that my time was probably close, and this training made it clear for me that when you go squat and you're sore for a week, it's not a good thing.
"We're thankful for all of Rob's countless contributions for the past eight seasons", Kraft said. "Playing for you, I've learned a tremendous amount".