Former Miami Dolphins Rob Ninkovich ends 11 year career

Credit Courtesy        NINKOVICH

There may be a leadership gap in the Patriots' locker room Monday, following Sunday's announcement of the retirement of defensive end Rob Ninkovich.

Ninkovich was a fifth-round pick by the Saints in 2006, which proved to be one of the best draft classes in franchise history.

One of the things Bill Belichick loved about Rob Ninkovich was his toughness. In typical Patriots fashion, Ninkovich delivered answers that centered around his health, future, and older players he has seen.

In eight years in New England, Ninkovich started in 101 games and won two Super Bowls. He went back to New Orleans late in the 2008 season before the Patriots signed him as a free agent August 2, 2009.

Ninkovich, 33, has been absent from training camp for the first three days. I was released. I didn't play in Miami - their wonderful 1-15 team.

"I'm so grateful to the Patriots organization. man, it's been so much fun".

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"I'm telling you, 2009 was my last shot", Ninkovich said.

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.

"Coach, I gave you everything I had", Ninkovich said to his coach, who was sitting on the floor to his left side. Now if they would just let Brady and Belichick retire.

"I was on a late flight", Ninkovich said.

Over the course of 130 regular-season appearances as an National Football League defensive end, Ninkovich compiled 460 total tackles, 46 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, 14 fumble recoveries, five interceptions and 24 passes defended. Thank you for your contributions to the Patriots and to me personally. "When you look at the amount of players in his class on that one draft, and all of them are close".

Ninkovich became tearful when addressing defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, thanking Patricia for beliving in him. The group did not determine that what the news gathering is for, however it's broadly accepted that it's Ninkovich's legitimate retirement declaration.

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