New England Patriots fans were dealt sad news on Monday when former running back Rex Burkhead announced his NFL retirement. The former Nebraska rusher racked up 1,882 scrimmage yards and 18 touchdowns across four seasons in a Patriots jersey and was even a part of the Super Bowl LIII-winning team.
With Burkhead's career in the rearview, Patriots fans are wondering who'll be the next player to retire. After all, Father Time is undefeated and it might not be long before more former New England players join Burkhead on the sidelines.
Here are three former Patriots who are most likely to retire next.
1. K Nick Folk
Patriots fans are familiar with veteran kicker Nick Folk from spending the 2019 to 2022 seasons in New England.
Even though the Patriots didn't win a title during that window, Folk was a consistent special teams contributor. He suited up in 57 games during his four-year stay, connecting on 89.3% of his field-goal attempts — the second-best success rate on the five teams he played for — and 91.3% of his extra-point tries.
Folk remained effective with the Tennessee Titans in 2023, leading the NFL with a 96.7% field-goal success rate. Having said that, the ex-Arizona Wildcat turns 40 in November and while kickers have longer careers than most positions, it wouldn't be surprising if the Los Angeles native calls it a career. Spotrac lists his career earnings at $23.5 million (seventh-highest among active kickers), so it isn't as if he needs to play for the money.
Considering how players rarely get to retire when they're still as efficient as he is, don't be surprised if Folk calls it a career sooner rather than later.