Troy Brown expected to retire

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
The New England Patriots are holding a news conference Thursday at 10 a.m. in Gillette Stadium for "an important announcement" involving former receiver Troy Brown.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick also are scheduled to speak.

We probably don't need a soothsayer to tell us Brown finally will announce his retirement after 15 years with the Patriots.

Boston Globe reporter Mike Reiss breaks down all of the anecdotal evidence that points to Brown's expected announcement.

Brown, an eighth-round draft choice in 1993, is destined to be enshrined in the sparkling new Patriots Hall of Fame the team dedicated Sunday and opened to the public Monday.

He is the team's all-time leading receiver with 557 catches and punt returner with 2,570 yards. He ranks second to Stanley Morgan in receiving yards. He's sixth in receiving touchdowns. He also leads all Patriots in the postseason with 58 catches for 694 yards.

Brown's best season was 2001, when he was selected for the Pro Bowl. He caught 101 passes for 1,199 yards and five touchdowns. He also played nickelback in 2004 and recorded three interceptions.

I suppose there's an outside shot the Patriots could announce Brown has re-signed with the Patriots, but last year he was inactive for all but the penultimate game -- the Patriots' regular-season home finale -- against the Miami Dolphins, presumably as a farewell gesture.