FOXBOROUGH, Mass. Long-time security from New England Patriots Patrick Chung, who intended to play this season after retiring from the 2020 campaign, reversed course and announced his resignation on Thursday.
33-year-old Chung said on Instagram, “It’s time to start a new life.”
This would have been Chung’s 12th season in the NFL and 11th with the Patriots. He has played in 153 regular season games (122 starts) as well as in 23 playoff games (20 starts).
After Chung originally joined the team in 2009 as a second-round draft election from the University of Oregon, he was part of three Super Bowl championship teams in New England. He had spent one season with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013 but returned the next season saying the only coach he wanted to play for was Bill Belichick.
In his Instagram post, Chung said he was tearfully making his retirement announcement and thanked Belichick for “teaching me about life on and off the field.”
Chung left the 2020 season for family reasons, telling CBS in an interview: “It was a tough decision. You want to play football. I’m at the end of my career, but when it comes down to it, I am.” Money is not that important. I have a pregnant girlfriend, a little girl is coming soon, my son has a little asthma, my father is 75 years old. I just felt that this was the best decision for my family to keep everyone safe. It’s not over yet, it’s just postponed a little. “
With that in mind, Chung had recently trained at Gillette Stadium, expressing his plans for another game in 2021. But things have obviously changed in the past few weeks.
The Patriots are deeply safe, with returning starters Devin McCourty and Adrian Phillips and 2020 top draft pick Kyle Dugger. They also landed a four-year $ 24 million deal with defenseman Jalen Mills, who is in the last season with the Eagles moved from corner to safety.