New England Patriot Rob Ninkovich retires

Report Patriots Defensive End Rob Ninkovich Expected to Retire

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Ninkovich began his career with the New Orleans Saints, and called his release from the Saints a "blessing" for how it allowed him to begin his career with the Pats.

"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.

After 11 National Football League seasons, New England Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich says he is retiring.

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".

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