Kevin Faulk & battling retirement

Patriots running back Kevin Faulk, who was inactive for Super Bowl XLVI, shared his thoughts on that decision and possible retirement with Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe.

In short, Faulk said he was crushed not to play in the Super Bowl. Now, as many expect, he's strongly considering retirement after 13 NFL seasons.

Cornerback Kyle Arrington, in the aftermath of Super Bowl XLVI, said one of the things that bothered him most was that the team couldn't help Faulk go out on top: "I just feel real bad for guys like Kevin, trying to go [off] into the sunset."

To sense what Faulk is going through, writer Elizabeth Merrill captured the emotions that conflict players in his situation for a piece now posted on ESPN.com. There are some powerful thoughts in the piece, including those from former Patriots linebacker Larry Izzo and a sports psychologist.

As for Faulk's future in New England, the feeling here is that it would be a longshot the team would offer him a contract in 2012. The more likely destination, from this view, is the Patriots Hall of Fame.

Faulk's snap counts from this year highlighted how the team was turning to other options when it counted most:

at Steelers: 39

vs. Giants: 0

at Jets: 9

vs. Chiefs: 0

at Eagles: 0

vs. Colts: 11

at Redskins: 13

at Broncos: 8

vs. Dolphins: 8

vs. Bills: 0

vs. Broncos: 0

vs. Ravens: 0

vs. Giants: 0