The New England Patriots have made waves this week with every one of the players they’ve acquired through free agency, yet now they’re seeing one key contributor walk out the door. Patrick Chung reported on Thursday that he has elected for leave the NFL and resign after a career that extended more than 11 seasons.
The veteran safety made the declaration via social media and said thanks to the Patriots association, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft for the decade-in addition to he spent in Foxborough.
“I want to say thank you to the Patriots organization, my family, my fans, coaches, just everyone,” Chung’s statement reads. “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, EQ 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. Patriot until I die!!! Love you all.”
The 33-year-old quit the 2020 season because of COVID concerns and last played for the club in 2019. This retirement declaration stops Chung’s noteworthy second stint with the Patriots.
After the club drafted him in the second round of the 2009 draft out of Oregon, Chung spent only one season outside of the Patriots association subsequent to signing with the Eagles in free agency in 2013. The next offseason, he re-signed with New England and has been with the club from that point forward.
As Belichick has admitted, Chung’s second act with the Patriots from 2014 as of recently was undeniably more productive than the first, generally on account of the club deploying him in another manner.
The safety played more in the box and was entrusted with covering tight closures, which end up being an ideal fit for Chung’s playing style. At a certain point, Belichick even said Chung was “one of the best players in the league.”
Presently, Chung closes his career as a three-time Super Bowl champion and an individual from the Patriots All-Decade Team for the 2010s.