The New England Patriots are a controversial NFL team and they have been so for a long time. 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. The Patriots are looking great heading into the upcoming season, they could very well reach the Super Bowl again, despite a lot of competition looming. Just today, a star of the Patriots announced his retirement in the NFL after eleven seasons in the league.

Rob Ninkovich retires

An article by Mike Reiss via ESPN sheds light on the recent report. The star defensive-end announced his retirement on Sunday afternoon after eleven seasons in the NFL. He has been thinking mulling over the decision for a while and finally made it. It was obvious he was going to make the decision because he was not at a training camp.

Rob Ninkovich issued a statement at the conference with the team on Sunday.

He said, "You have to be honest with yourself, when you go squat and are sore for a week, it's not a good thing." Ninkovich trusted what his own body was telling him and knew in his heart that it was time to hang up his jersey. He is 33-years-old and had been mulling over the decision for years.

His journey

Rob Ninkovich entered the league, and was drafted by the New Orlean Saints in 2006. Ninkovich played his college football at Purdue. However, his career did not take off until he was signed by The Patriots as a free agent.

The Super Bowl champs have done this numerous times; they are renowned for taking a player that is not significant in football and turning them into a star. The Patriots have done this in the past with their amazing organization and coach.

Ninkovich was turned into a champion with the Patriots through his hard work and dedication. He never gave up on his dream and excelled while being a member of the Pats. He was a team captain in 2013 and 2015 and was a big part of bringing two championships to the team.

Legacy

Ninkovich was a special player in the league and he helped the Pats a lot in stopping the run. It is so valuable in stopping the run game because it takes a huge toll on the defense. The 'underdog' was credited with 423 tackles, along with 46 sacks, stats given in the ESPN article.

It is speculated that a rookie will take his position, but no one will really be able to fill his spot, for now.

A player named Kony Ealy from the Carolina Panthers will fill in for him during the season.

Rob Ninkovich will go down as one of the most valuable players. His contributions to the team will not be forgotten and neither will the friendships he made while on the field.

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