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"I didn't grow up wanting to play football. Never thought a college would pay for me to join their team. The draft was just a reason to throw a party and I'd never seen a pro football game in person until I played in one. Yet, this unbelievable journey has provided my family and I with more than we could ever ask for and the ability to help those around us. That is the biggest victory of my career and why I will forever be grateful to the Patriots organization and the NFL.
"I don't remember plays from games or any other details that involve what most fans watch. I've never gone back and watched a tape from one of our games on TV. So while I'm sure I will miss a lot of what's been my life as a lineman, the things that have always been the most important to me will still be. I love a good challenge and the art of negotiation. Problem-solving and hard work are actually fun. Being a dad is still the greatest part of my day and the friendships that were created over the past 11 seasons will forever be cherished. The game of football has taught me more about life than X's and O's. It's about patience, humility, honor, perseverance, and the Belichick way-at least to me, that's what's important to have the best chance to win, and to build a long career.
"Today, on the day I retire, I'd be remiss if I didn't pay tribute to my former teammate, Junior Seau, who we lost last Wednesday. His death is a sad reminder of how much we ALL struggle with life. And finally, to all my fans, friends, teammates and family: Thank you. I'm so grateful for all your support and guidance throughout my career. I look forward to civilian life."