The New England Patriots have had a lot to worry about this off-season, ahead of the 2015 NFL campaign.
Thanks to the DeflateGate saga, the Patriots have lost Tom Brady for the first four games of the season as they look to retain as SuperBowl Champions, along with a million dollar fine and the loss of their first round draft pick next year.
There's someone else who has had to do a lot of thinking in this off-season, and retirement seems to be the answer.
Connolly Calls It Quits
According to a report from Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, longtime Patriots offensive lineman Dan Connolly has decided to call it a day at the age of 32-years old.
Connolly told Reiss that winning the Super Bowl in February made it easier to move on to other things that will be less physically taxing than playing on an offensive line in the National Football League. After years of protecting quarterback's, Connolly is finally doing something for himself.
“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," he went on to add.
Connolly bows out of the NFL with one hell of a career under his belt. The o-lineman made the impressive jump from undrafted free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars out of the unheard of Southeast Missouri State, to starting on a Super Bowl winning team.
From being undrafted, Connolly became a practice-squad player with the Patriots in 2007, before becoming a full-time starter for the past five years, becoming a Captain and Super Bowl Champ in his last year.
And don't forget his record breaking achievement for the longest ever kick return by an offensive lineman, taking a kick-off back 71 yards against the Packers before being cruelly stopped short at the five-yard line.