Patriots Guard Dan Connolly Announces Retirement From NFL


New England Patriots veteran offensive lineman Dan Connolly is walking away from the game of football due to health concerns. After appearing in 100 NFL games over the course of his career, the 32-year-old’s history with concussions ultimately influenced his decision to retire.

Connolly was a fixture along the Patriots offensive line for several seasons. His experience and tremendous work ethic helped New England’s offensive front mesh a year ago en route to a Super Bowl title. He became a free agent at the season’s end. With no wowing offer on the table, Connolly thought about the four concussions he had sustained over the years and opted to leave the game as champion.

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“It’s important to me to leave the game healthy,” Connolly said. “I’m able to be here for my kids and walk away on my own terms. I feel like I got everything I could out of football in playing 10 years, winning a Super Bowl, and playing alongside some truly great players,” Connolly told in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

Connolly joined the Patriots in 2007 and never left. He played in two Super Bowls. Fans may best remember him for nearly scoring a touchdown on a whacky kick return against the Green Bay Packers back in 2010. Connolly surely built up an array of found memories over the years, but his health was of the utmost importance as he contemplated retirement over the last few months.

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The versatile Connolly played center and both guard positions, exhibiting great consistency. He would have certainly found a new team if the Patriots had not re-upped with him. But after speaking with his wife, family and doctors, Connolly did not want to jeopardize a healthy future.

“It is an honor to have been part of such a great organization for the past eight seasons,” Connolly told ESPN of his time with the Patriots.

A number of players across the NFL have decided to retire already this offseason, citing head trauma as major factor. Most notably being Chris Borland of the San Francisco 49ers and Jake Locker of the Tennessee Titans.