New England Patriots: Saying so Long to Stephen Neal

March 3, 2011   ·     ·   Jump to comments

After a 10-year career, all with the New England Patriots, right guard Stephen Neal has called it a career. Neal has been mired by injuries in recent years—including a season-ending shoulder injury after eight games this year.
Neal famously didn't play college football when the Patriots signed him in 2001. A wrestler at Cal State-Bakersfield, Neal was a back-to-back national champion his junior and senior years (including defeating former UFC Champion Brock Lesnar). His four-year record was 151-10.
In his first three years in New England, Neal only saw action in two games.
His takeoff year came in 2004 when he started 14 games before starting throughout the Patriots' run at their third Super Bowl title in four years.
When healthy, Neal started full-time at right guard for the next six years (though only in 2005 did Neal start in all 16 games in a season).
Neal pondered retirement at the end of the 2009 season, only to return with a two-year...

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