New England Patriots

Feb 3, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New England Patriots strong safety Patrick Chung (23) raises the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Veteran Patriots safety Patrick Chung announced his retirement from football via his Instagram page on Thursday morning.

Chung retires after 11 seasons in the NFL, 10 of which were with the Patriots. Originally drafted in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft, Chung played his first four seasons in New England before playing the 2013 season with the Philadelphia Eagles. Chung returned to the Patriots and went on to start 82 of 91 games from 2014-2019 as an integral piece of the Patriots’ defensive secondary.

A three-time Super Bowl champion, Chung also played 23 playoff games for the Patriots in his career. He started 15 straight playoff games at safety for the Patriots from 2014-19. He is the only player in NFL history to appear in the playoffs in each of his first 11 seasons (h/t Mike Reiss).

The full Instagram post reads as follows:

“I want to say thank you to the Patriots organization, my family, my fans, coaches, just everyone. I’m in tears writing this but I’ve decided to hang up the cleats. Bill, Mr. Kraft (mean mug) thank you for giving me the opportunity to play for your team for 11 years. I love you. Bill for teaching me life on and off the field, I will not forget that. To my teammates, trainers, [equipment] team, video guys, meal room employees, janitors, etc. I love you guys and ladies. Thank you for being the rock to the organization. For cleaning up, feeding, taking care of me for 11 years. You will forever be family. But it’s time to start a new life.”

Chung opted out of the 2020 season to be with his family after the recent birth of his child. Early reports indicated he was preparing to return in 2021, but if that were the case with Chung, he has now reversed course.

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