New England Patriots: Stephen Neal’s Retirement Changes Priorities for the Draft

March 3, 2011   ·     ·   Jump to comments

New England Patriots right guard Stephen Neal announced his retirement today, closing his 10-year career as a member of the Patriots offensive line, confirmed the team in a press release in their website.
Neal signed with the Patriots as a rookie free agent in 2001. After being released by the Patriots following training camp, he spent time on the Philadelphia practice squad before returning to the Patriots when he signed to New England's active roster in December of 2001.
He made his first start in the week six of the 2002 season, but suffered a season-ending injury in the game against the Green Bay Packers, which also caused him to miss the 2003 season.
The former college wrestler finally became a starter in the 2004 season. He played as reserve in the two first weeks and then took the starting spot for good, culminating with New England’s victory in the Super Bowl XXXIX.
The 2005 season was the only time Neal started all 16 regular season games. After that,...

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